Delhi Capitals v Rajasthan Royals
Saturday 25 September 11.00
TV: live on Sky Sports
Delhi Capitals restarted with a comfortable win over Sunrisers Hyderabad. It was as if they'd never been away and they are focused on the task of a top-two finish to make progress to the final easier.
They sprang a nice surprise in the game, too. Steve Smith was not required with Shreyas Iyer returning to the fold and coach Ricky Ponting instead opting for the extra pace of Anrich Nortje, who promptly won the match gong.
We're still unconvinced by Shimron Hetmyer but in terms of balance Delhi are hard to beat at the moment. It would be a surprise if they didn't contest the final.
Probable XI Dhawan, Shaw, Iyer, Pant, Stoinis, Hetmyer, Axar, Ashwin, Rabada, Nortje, Avesh
Royals on a run
Rajasthan came back from the dead against Punjab Kings, somehow defending four off the final over. To be fair, it was very much true to form for Punjab who are specialists at failure from impregnable positions.
Rajasthan had been true to form, too. They were dangerous with the bat but wayward and without threat with the ball. In time they might prefer Tabraiz Shamsi to give them more control in the middle, sacrificing Mustafizur Rahman.
Expect them to continue with a four-pronged pace attack and bit-part seamers. Kartik Tyagi has a deal for life after being the star of the show at the death with the ball.
Probable XI Lewis, Jaiswal, Samson, Livingstone, Lomror, Parag, Tewatia, Mor-ris, Sakaraiya, Tyagi, Mustafizur
Before the tournament started Abu Dhabi had the highest run rate in the two-year study period for the three UAE venues. But it's looked like a bowler-friendly surface in the two games at time of writing. Bangalore were rolled for 92 and then the surface got noticeably slower when Mumbai batted first against Kolkata for 156.
It wasn't enough as evening dew seemed to slicken the surface. We'll keep a watching brief for innings runs par lines unless there an opportunity to short in the early 160s. An in-play strategy may have more appeal yet.
Delhi, at the moment, have the second-worst economy rate (10.42) at the death so going long on innings runs by adding 40 or 50 at big numbers could pay off. Likewise if Delhi bat first. They are second-best for hitting with a rate of 11.79. So add the same.
Royals can fight
Delhi are 1.618/13 for their eighth win of the tournament and their fifth win in the last six on the head-to-head. However, the odd one out was this season so the Royals will have no fear.
Indeed, they are bang in the play-off race following two defeats for Mumbai Indians. They have the ability to flip the market with fast starters like Evin Lewis with the bat and fast finishers. But we'd like them in a chase and you may well be able to get 2.506/4 at the break.
Talking of fast finishers, Rahul Tewatia is underrated by Sportsbook for most Royals runs. He has a win rate of 10.5% and Sportsbook are giving him a 5% chance at 19s.
Tewatia is a former Delhi player and will be motivated to put one on Ponting. He strikes at 147 and has an impressive average of 29.
For Delhi Rishabh Pant averages 69 against Royals, strikes at 170 and top-scored last time. He is 4/1. That's about right for win rate so we will look for prices from 6s in-play.
IPL betting strategy on Cricket...Only Bettor