Kolkata look to continue a run of home wins as they take on the side just a point behind them in this year's IPL table, Delhi Daredevils. Richard O'Hagan previews what should be a high-scoring contest.
"Unsurprisingly, the Knight Riders are strong favourites at 1.4640/85 and on present form it is hard to back against them even at that price."
Kolkata Knight Riders v Delhi Daredevils
Thursday May 7, 15:30 BST
Live on Sky Sports 2
Kolkata Knight Riders
A comprehensive victory over Sunrisers Hyderabad on Monday put Kolkata firmly back in the title race and in doing so overcame a curious hoodoo at Eden Park whereby no side batting first had won all season. That should give them a lot of confidence going into a game against a team just one place and one point behind them.
Kolkata's win wasn't based upon a great batting performance, though. No batsman breached 40 and, while Robin Uthappa's good run continued, Ryan ten Doeschate failed again and must be a candidate for replacement. The bowling attack looked good, though, stifling the powerful Hyderabad batsmen and keeping them well behind the run rate. Umesh Yadav took the man of the match award but it is veteran Brad Hogg who is the surprise package, having picked up as many wickets as any other Kolkata bowler from half the number of games. They'll be hoping that two games in a week isn't too much for the oldest man in the IPL.
Delhi suffered another bad loss in Mumbai on Tuesday and are in danger of slipping out of contention thanks to their erratic form.
One consolation for the Daredevils was that they at last got a decent innings out of Yuvraj Singh, who has struggled mightily in this tournament. The rest of the batting lineup didn't really help, though, with only captain JP Duminy passing 25. Shreyas Iyer continued to look promising at the top of the order but his inexperience once again caused him to spoil a good start. Bowling is where the real strength of this Delhi side lies, though, and they will be hoping that the Kolkata middle order proves as soft again in this game as it did on Monday.
Venue and Conditions
Monday's game may have stopped the run of victories by sides batting second at Eden Park, but it also showed that you need to get at least 170 on this pitch to be competitive. With warm, dry conditions again expected, this ought to be a high scoring contest.
Unsurprisingly, the Knight Riders are strong favourites at 1.4640/85 and on present form it is hard to back against them even at that price. Delhi are 2.466/4 outsiders and even given their habit of winning the next match after they lose the Kolkata lineup just looks too strong.
Top Kolkata Batsman
The strength of Delhi's bowling attack suggests that this might be a game where it is best to avoid the upper order batsmen such as Uthappa, Gautham Gambhir and Manish Pandey, even though they've been in decent form. Lower down the order, players who are effective against the older ball such as Andre Russell and Yusuf Pathan might be a better bet. Pathan looked in good nick in the last game and should be available at around 5.59/2.
Top Delhi Batsman
Duminy and Yuvraj will be short priced after Tuesday's exploits, but Iyer really is one of the finds of this IPL and if he can curb that tendency to play one shot too many should be a decent bet at around 5.04/1
Back Yusuf Pathan to be top Kolkata batsman at odds of over 5.59/2
Richard's IPL2015 P/L