Crucial game in the Playoff race
19/1 chance Ayush Badoni could enjoy conditions
Tuesday May 16, 15:00
TV: Live on Sky Sports
LSG Team News
LSG beat the Sunrisers on Saturday to stay firmly in contention for a Playoff spot.
Not that Lucknow will be too fussed about the manner of the win but it was yet another case of the Sunrisers handing victory on a plate to their opponents than anything else.
Way behind the required run rate in a chase of 183, LSG for some reason decided to give the sixteenth over to part-timer Abishek Sharma. He may have dismissed Marcus Stoinis off the third legal ball, but that was only after the Aussie had smashed him for two consecutive sixes.
Nicolas Pooran came in and proceeded to hit Sharma for a hat-trick of maximums from the remainder of the over. Add a wide to the equation and it was a 31-run over which turned the game on its head. In the end they won with four balls to spare.
It was a reminder of what Pooran (44 off 13) can do on his day but earlier there was a fine knock from the unlikely source of Prerak Mankad. He'd only played one match previously this season and got out for 0, so his 64 off 45 was as welcome, as it was unexpected.
With the ball stand-in skipper Krunal Pandya had been the pick with 2-24.
A win here would be huge; they'd move ahead of Mumbai and a fight for that all-important second place with CSK would go down to the wire.
Possible XI Mayers, de Kock, Mankad, Stoinis, Pooran, Pandya, Thakur, Bishnoi, Singh, Khan
Mumbai Team news
Mumbai made it four wins from their last five after a sluggish start and are also bang in contention to progress to the Playoffs.
It's no coincidence that their change in fortunes has coincided with the return to form of Sky Yadav. Arguably the best middle-order T20 batter in the world, his century on Friday was the difference between the two sides as they beat the Titans despite a late assault from Rashid Khan.
The only surprising thing about Sky's century was that it was his first-ever in this format. In his last eight knocks, he's now passed 50 in five of them, which includes that 103 not out the other day. They'll need plenty more from him if they're going to win it.
They'll also need better returns from Chris Jordan. Parachuted in to replace Jofra Archer, he's been expensive so far.
Possible XIKishan, Sharma, Yadav, Wadhera, Vinod, David, Green, Jordan, Chawla, Behrendorff, Kartikeya.
If it's a low-scoring match you want to see, you might just get it right here at Lucknow.
Here are the first innings scores here this season: 121/8, 159/8, 135-6, 126-9, 125/7. The odd one out was the 193/6 LSG posted against Delhi. But that's still an average of just 143.
Three of those six were won by the side batting first, two by the chaser and one was washed out, after the rain came just as the first innings was coming to an end.
This could be another war of attrition where batsmen have to work hard for their runs, boundaries are at a premium and spin plays a big part.
How to play
Lucknow are 2.35/4. There are a few reasons we like that price.
Firstly, because LSH have a 2-0 winning record against Mumbai, having beaten them comfortably twice last season.
Secondly because Mumbai have never played here before given this is the first season this ground has been used in the IPL. And this is not a typical IPL pitch.
Thirdly because a tricky, two-paced wicket doesn't play into the hands of a Mumbai batting line-up that likes to play its shots and deal in boundaries rather than grind for its runs. Spin twins Krunal Pandya and Ravi Bishnoi could cause the Indians plenty of problems here.
So, with no obvious toss bias, we're happy to get with the outsiders pre-toss at a very decent-looking price.
Badoni at 19/1?
Last time out Ayush Badoni didn't get a bat because LSG realised they needed quick runs against SRH and that Badoni wasn't the man for that particular job.
But the last time they were here at Lucknow he scored a brilliant 59 not out against CSK in a game where no-one else for Lucknow passed 20. That was the one that was washed out at the end of the first innings.
So the Lucknow management will remember that knock and will want Badoni out in the middle to play an anchor role where he accumulates and lets the others take a few risks.
Given he could bat as high as three and is better suited to these conditions than many others, it's quite remarkable he's available at 19/1 to top score for the hosts.
The fly in the ointment is that he may come on as an impact sub, which has happened before, in which case bets on him will be void. That would be a big shame because win or lose, he's an excellent price. Fingers crossed he's in the starting XI.
No first-innings 50
Following the theory this could be a very tricky pitch, one way to play it is to lay 155 runs or more in the first innings runs market at what will presumably be an odds-on price, irrespective of who bats first.
Another way to play it is to go with no-one scoring a 50 in the first innings at 11/5.
It's one of those wickets where you rarely feel like you've played yourself in and where looking to smash boundaries comes with plenty of risk.
There have admittedly been four first innings fifties in the six innings here so far but at the price, it's worth a bet we won't get one this time.