Kolkata Knight Riders vs Sunrisers Hyderabad: Back Sunrisers to shine

David Warner
David Warner and Jonny Bairstow Combine for Sunrisers on Saturday

Two winless teams meet in Abu Dhabi on Saturday and Matt Harris expects Sunrisers to come away with the points.

"By backing Sunrisers, we’re relying heavily on Bairstow and Warner but they’ve stood up enough times in the past"

Kolkata Knight Riders vs Sunrisers Hyderabad
Saturday September 26th, 15:00 BST
Live on Sky Sports Cricket

Sluggish Start from KKR

Kolkata's run chase against Mumbai never really got started as Dinesh Karthik's men struggled to get within 50 runs of their 196 target. The bowlers had, however, been impressive in keeping their opponents under 200 after Rohit Sharma and Suryakumar Yadav had taken Mumbai to 98/1 in the 11th over.

Sunil Narine can still keep it tight for KKR in the middle overs but it's the new-look batting line up that's offering concerns. With no Chris Lynn and no Robin Uthappa this year, the Knight Riders are relying on the middle order powerhouse of Eoin Morgan and Andre Russell but, by the time they get to the crease, it may all be too late.

Sunrisers Struck by Injury Concerns

Injuries could severely hamper Sunrisers' bid for the playoffs and those issues started before a ball was bowled in anger. Kane Williamson's absence from Monday's defeat to Royal Challengers Bangalore left SRH looking thin in the early middle order while Mitchell Marsh pulled up during the match and is out of the tournament. Subsequently, Rashid Khan was flattened mid-pitch by his batting partner Abhishek Sharma.

Hyderabad currently look over-reliant on their opening partnership of Jonny Bairstow and David Warner but they may have had enough to overcome RCB had the pair not combined to produce Warner's freak run out. Sunrisers badly need Williamson to come back but, at times, that opening pairing will be enough to claim the points and the Bairstow/Warner axis looks in good touch.

Sunny Sheik Zayed Stadium Plays Host

The Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi hosts its third match of IPL 2020 and the Knight Riders are back here following Wednesday's defeat to Mumbai. The previous two games have yielded first innings scores of 162 and 195 while the wins have been divided between the sides batting first and second.

Those figures aren't telling us much but, the two biggest scores in the campaign to date - 216 from Rajasthan and 195 from Mumbai - have been comfortably defended. Bat first and bat big should be the mission once again.

Having watched a lot of cricket from a damp Manchester over the English summer, it's nice to see dry conditions and full games in the UAE. It may not be quite so comfortable for the players but, once again, we should have a clear, hot and humid evening for this contest.

Hyderabad have the edge

Both teams are winless after their opening games but it's no surprise to see Sunrisers start as favourites. The men in orange lead the way here at odds of 5/61.84 while Kolkata follow at 11/102.08.

I'm getting behind the favourites but it's largely due to Kolkata's unconvincing batting line up and their poor start to the campaign. By backing Sunrisers, we're relying heavily on Bairstow and Warner but they've stood up enough times in the past and Hyderabad should ease through if they can avoid those comedy run outs.

Captain Karthik to lead by example

KKR's skipper Dinesh Karthik briefly threatened to keep his side in touch with Wednesday's run chase with a bright 30 from 23 balls. He looks a little high at three but he's one of the most consistent IPL batters and he'll be busy this year without Lynn and Uthappa.

Captain Karthik is my pick in Kolkata's top batsman market at around the 4/15.0 mark. Plausible alternatives include Morgan and Russell and, while I've never been a fan of the Sunil Narine pinch hitting experiment, he's delivered at times.

Sunrisers to rain sixes

It was tempting to get straight on the Sunrisers in the most sixes market - and not just for the purposes of that terrible pun. With Morgan and Russell in the opposition camp, KKR are a big threat to that suggestion but it rarely pays to move away from your first thought.

Once again, we're relying on Warner and Bairstow to an extent but we'll add SRH to record the most maximums at around 4/51.8.

Matt Harris' IPL 2020 P/L

Staked: 3pts
Returns: 6.8pts
P/L: +3.8pts

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