Kolkata Knight Riders v Mumbai Indians
Saturday May 13, 15:30
TV: live on Sky Sports
Kolkata Knight Riders
The Knight Riders have lost three of their last four matches so their second position in the table is misleading. If they win - more smoke and mirrors - they could go top.
Their last defeat came against Kings XI. It was a curious affair. They were well on top having restricted Kings to 167. The fit-again Chris Lynn got them off to a flier and they were on cruise control, seemingly, at 78 for one.
But look more closely and you will see that it was Lynn who was doing all the work. Gautam Gambhir provided a stunningly inept cameo, effectively losing them the game with a go-slow the like of which you wouldn't see in Test cricket. He scored eight runs of 18 balls. A strike rate of 44!
Nathan Coulter-Nile and Piyush Chawla could come in for Colin De Grandhomme and Ankit Rajpoot respectively.
Mumbai are also, one suspects, flattering to deceive. They were also beaten by Kings XI last time out as the momentum has swung to the Preity Zinta franchise and Rising Pune Supergiant.
They are really struggling for their mojo and although they have still only lost four, their cricket has been laboured of late and they look poor favourites on the outright at a prohibitive [2.96].
You get the sense Mumbai reckon they can just turn it on when it takes their fancy. That's a dangerous game. Conceding 230 against Kings was inexcusable even if they came up just seven runs short in reply.
The first-innings scores this season (1-2 denote match won by side batting first or second) read: 155-2/160-2/131-1/187-2/172-1/170-2. Gambhir has always insisted it's a belter to bat on and that would seem fair.
Kolkata are early favourites for this one at [1.82]. Mumbai are listed at [2.02] but if that KKR price holds then, naturally, we would expect to get bigger.
That could well be the bet as these two look well-matched if it is true that they have both hit the wall and their bowlers have lost their discipline.
Mumbai won the previous meeting with ease. They chased 179 relatively comfortably. On a good chasing ground Mumbai are worth following, even if KKR have a fine home record, and you will probably get even money when the cut comes after the toss.
Top KKR runscorer
KKR need to go back to basics. They are obsessed with Sunil Narine as opener and even though he has had success, why not go with tried and tested Lynn and Gambhir followed by Robin Uthappa at No 3? Manish Pandey top scored in the previous meeting with a superb 81 but it is difficult to look past a rampaging Lynn. His shoulder injury has not affected his rhythm.
Top Mumbai runscorer
Jos Buttler has gone home to be replaced by Lendl Simmons, one of our favourite players. He is consistently underrated and his rapid half-century against Kings got them in the frame. At Nos 3 and 4 it is a flip flop form story. Nitish Rana was superb early on and Rohit Sharma couldn't buy a run. Now it's the other way round.
Ed Hawkins P-L
Based only on available prices. Does not include back-to-lay in-running match advice or commission rate. Figures 2013-2016 on 1pt level stakes. New points system (0.5pt-5) introduced for 2017.
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