The second half of the double header in the Indian Premier League on Thursday sees the tournament heading back to Ahmedabad for the clash between the Delhi Capitals and the Kolkata Knight Riders.
These two teams started the day in third and fifth respectively so this is a match they will both be looking to win and not only build on their solid start to the season but continue to build the platform to launch a huge campaign from in the second half of the league phase.
The Delhi Capitals go into this match off the back of a defeat by the narrowest of margins to the Royal Challengers Bangalore last time out. It was a rare outing where their bowling attack was exposed and a bit of a miscalculation in the field by Rishabh Pant saw AB de Villiers take Bangalore away from them. To be fair, Delhi looked dead and buried in the run chase but so nearly rescued the situation before going down by a run.
I think the last game would have been a learning curve for Pant and it will need to have been because in a similar situation in this match he doesn’t want to be getting his bowling order wrong and exposing someone to Andre Russell in the last couple of overs. The other thing that last match will have done is just reset the Delhi side into normal conditions after a couple of matches on those tacky Chennai wickets.
Kolkata Knight Riders
The Kolkata Knight Riders go into this match off the back of a win and if they can build on that and pick up another one they will have themselves nicely positioned both in terms of the league table and their own confidence heading into the business end of the league phase of the campaign. It was to be expected that they would come to life after their initial stage of the season when the wickets in Chennai just never suited them at all.
The good thing for Kolkata is you would suggest their strength lies very much with their batsmen and they haven’t really fired like we would expect them to yet but Eoin Morgan got some time at the crease in the previous match and one or two down the order offered up cameos in earlier matches so if their top order can come to the party then you sense there is plenty of life left in the Knight Riders this term yet.
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Shimron Hetmyer has been quiet for the Delhi Capitals for quite a while but he sparked into life in the previous match and in what may well be a high scoring match you’ve got to think his power hitting could be necessary in this match if Delhi are to win.
Sunil Narine showed that he can still deliver the goods with the ball in the first game on this ground and with the Delhi batsmen likely to be coming at him that could be crucial here. At some point Kolkata will bite the bullet and send him up to open too and give Nitish Rana the slot at three. If that is here he could be explosive with the bat too.
As ever I can’t be betting on the match outcome here without knowing the result of the toss because the chasing side are at such an advantage here should the dew come in. It didn’t really come in during the last game here but my understanding is that was the rarity rather than the norm. In an even match you’ve got to think the Delhi Capitals will win the game but we are unlikely to get that so I’m off to the side markets for a bet here.
I’m a little surprised that the sixes line here is 12.5. I suspect a lot of that is down to the fact that the gun power players in these two sides haven’t really fired like they can to date in the tournament but they are going to break loose at some point in proceedings and when they do grounds the size of this one won’t be big enough to contain them. Both these attacks have struggled with consistency and they both leaked a number of sixes in their last match. It only takes one of those special knocks from Andre Russell or Rishabh Pant and the odd cameo around them to cover this line so I’ll take that for a bet here.
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