Delhi Daredevils v Kings XI Punjab
Saturday, 15:30 BST
Live on Sky Sports 2
After starting with a loss, Daredevils couldn't have bounced back in more impressive style than a 97-run win away to Pune. Their efforts can now be summarised as two excellent performances with the ball, one disaster with the bat plus one massive score dominated by one man.
If Sanju Samson maintains the sort of form that yielded 102 on Wednesday, Delhi could overcome their glaring weakness. With no world-class overseas batsmen in this squad, the onus is on up and coming home stars Samson, Shreyas Iyer, Karun Nair and teenage wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant. Chris Morris also proved what a devastating finisher he can be, hitting 38 off nine balls.
If these young batsmen can cobble together competitive totals, Delhi have the bowlers to defend them. Shahbaz Nadeem is economical, making a useful foil for Pat Cummins, while the experience of Amit Mishra and Zaheer Khan is invaluable. And this is before Kagiso Rabada or Mohammed Shami get a game.
Kings XI Punjab
Having finished bottom in the last two IPLs, Kings XI don't seem likely title candidates but this term has started promisingly under Glenn Maxwell's captaincy. Their 100% record was surrendered on Thursday away to KKR (never a disgrace) but two wins from three is a decent return.
One problem has been failure to replace Virender Sehwag but Hashim Amla joined halfway through last season and promises to fill the gap. His performance is even more pivotal with fellow opener Murali Vijay out for the season. When Kings XI were last competitive - topping the group in 2014 - Sehwag set up huge totals from the outset, before Maxwell and David Miller invariably finished the job. This pair of gamechanging hitters have started encouragingly.
However they remain a weak bowling outfit, at least on paper. KKR destroyed them on Thursday, leaving the impression that Punjab's previous excellent performance with the ball owed more to their RCB opponents' failure. It is hard to see who provides the economy.
First Innings Runs
There's plenty of recent evidence from Feroz Shah Kotla to work from. The last 20 matches played here either in IPL or the World Cup suggest this is one of the lower scoring grounds in the competition. Seven out of 20 first innings were below 150, while 180 was only reached three times, with 190 the highest.
I suspect the opening odds will reflect those stats, with 150 or more trading around [1.35]. Given that Delhi are relatively weak with bat and strong with ball, my trading plan is to start by laying the lower run bands at short odds, with a view to cashing out if the market moves significantly my way.
A very tricky match to call, as reflected by identical even money odds about both sides, not least due to the importance of the toss. Chasing is definitely an advantage here and the team batting second won 13 of those last 20 matches. Rather than picking blind pre-match, it makes more sense to simply wait to find out who gains the advantage.
Top Delhi Batsman
There is always mileage in taking big odds about middle order batsmen in hope of early wickets, especially when relatively low scoring is expected. Karun Nair didn't get a crack in the last match but can bat in various positions. He scored 357 runs in 14 games last season, averaging 35.7, and is a key component of a weak batting line-up. On that basis, 16/1 on the Sportsbook and in fact anything above [8.0] represents outstanding value.
Top Punjab Batsman
Generally one would expect this market to be won by either Amla, Maxwell, Miller, Shaun Marsh or Manan Vohra but their chances are reflected in the odds. Punjab also have a flexible line-up and one that interests me is Marcus Stoinis at 10/1. His 36.5 average from seven matches was their best last term and the Aussie was promoted to number three last time.
*(a 'unit' is a typical bet - if you'd normally bet, say, £10, the recommendations here are £60, £10 and £5)
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Stakes: 11.5 units
Returns: 8.64 units