Rising Pune Supergiant v Sunrisers Hyderabad
Saturday, 11:30 BST
Live on Sky Sports
Rising Pune Supergiant
Pune's win over RCB last time out was a team effort, backs to the wall and any other sporting cliché you want to throw at it but it was impressive to see Steve Smith's side win a game that looked over when they were 130-7 in the 18th over. On a Bangalore surface that is notoriously difficult to defend on, the Supergiants broke a record for visiting teams when they kept their opponents below a sub-par 161.
Ben Stokes was Man of the Match with 3/18 but received good support from what is a capable attack. That defence has rather masked the batting collapse in a performance that saw Rahul Tripathi top score with just 31 and Pune remain less than convincing but they should at least get some confidence from Sunday's victory.
It isn't difficult to spot a pattern in the Sunrisers' results so far with all four wins coming in Hyderabad and two defeats on the road. It's debatable how much 'home advantage' there is in the shortest format but SRH certainly understand what it takes to win on a tricky surface at the Rajiv Gandhi.
Now they are away from home again are they heading for an obvious defeat? I feel that the most positive aspect of their most recent victory over Delhi was the introduction of Kane Williamson. It's always tough to juggle overseas players but more batting support was needed, The Fiz wasn't taking enough wickets and you just can't leave out a player of the Kiwi's quality.
Williamson duly top scored with 89 from 51 balls and with him in the side, those contrasting home and away results should start to balance out.
Venue and Conditions
The first two IPL 10 games at the Maharashtra Stadium in Pune have produced a very healthy average first innings score of 194. The issue with that from a Supergiant point of view is that they haven't made first use of the facilities although they only have themselves to blame as they inserted twice. RSP actually overcame Mumbai's 184, but those figures suggest it's a bat first surface.
Conditions for Saturday will be as they have been for much of this tournament - hot, dry and cloudless so 180 should be a minimum first innings total.
The market has certainly ignored the Sunrisers' issues on the road and David Warner's men go off as favourites at a current [1.82] with Pune some way behind at [2.12]. The question of momentum is always a debatable one but anyone considering the Supergiants will believe that the win over RCB, when they were out of the contest at 130/7, will somehow galvanise the side.
There are still issues however and the change in selection at Hyderabad should cover any problems in their own camp. Expect another positive display from Williamson and a first Sunrisers win away from home.
Top Hyderabad Batsman
By backing David Warner and collecting regular profits in 2016, I had benefitted by the Sunrisers' decision to leave Williamson in the dugout. It was a worse move than Chelsea keeping Steve Sidwell on the bench and while one man won't transform a team, there is far more competition for this bet right now.
Warner is my pick at around [3.2] and despite only making 4 last time out he should build, now that he has better support elsewhere. Williamson at [3.4] or better and the sudden consistency found by Shikhar Dhawan at around [3.5] make this more difficult but I'm keeping faith with the Aussie.
There may just be a little value in the most sixes market where I would stake with Pune, even though I expect them to lose the match. Sunrisers are favourites at around [1.8] but the Supergiants have more potential to clear the ropes and as the outsiders at [2.2] or possibly a little higher, that's a decent price.
Back David Warner to top score for Sunrisers Hyderabad at [3.2]
Matt Harris' IPL P/L
P/L: + 2.65pts