Mumbai Indians v Delhi Capitals
Saturday, October 2nd, 11:00 BST
Live on Sky Sports Cricket
Hardik the hero
Mumbai ended a run of three straight defeats but the six wicket victory over Punjab Kings on Tuesday was less than convincing. The margin may seem comfortable and the defending champions had a full over left but only a late blitz from Hardik Pandya got them over the line.
Rohit Sharma's men struggled in a low run chase but there were positives. A lack of batting depth had seen Mumbai slump to those three straight losses but that trend came to an end with Hardik, Saurabh Tiwary and Kieron Pollard all making vital late runs.
That strength in depth will be needed again on Saturday against a Delhi Capitals side looking to respond from a poor performance.
They're on the brink of making it through to the next phase of IPL 14, but Delhi slipped to a three-wicket defeat at the hands of KKR last time out. The game will largely be remembered for an altercation between Ravichandran Ashwin and Eoin Morgan and that rather underlines what was a poor game.
Were Delhi complacent as they looked set to ease into the next round? The side has been boosted by the return of Shreyas Iyer who would not have been involved if the IPL had kept to its original schedule, and they're looking stronger as a result.
I'm not sure that adding Steve Smith, who was too pedestrian for Rajasthan last season, is doing much to enhance the Capitals' batting. Providing that the former Aussie skipper doesn't hang around too long, that depth in the batting line up should be enough to see Delhi through very soon.
Sharjah takes centre stage
Saturday's game is set for the Sharjah Cricket Stadium where Delhi tasted defeat earlier in the week. Four matches have been played here since the restart and they've returned a modest first innings average total of 135.
All but one of those four run chases were successful and the only team to miss their target were bottom of the table Sunrisers. It all suggests that the toss will be vital once again with the live odds likely to favour the side batting second.
Despite their relative positions in the table, Mumbai Indians start as favourites to take the points at 1.814/5. Delhi Capitals have that six point advantage but they are the outside bet for this one at 2.1411/10.
Mumbai may have turned a corner with that recent win but pressure remains on their underperforming middle order. Delhi's batting has generally been more impressive but the addition of Smith concerns me moving forward.
In short, this could be another tight game and I've a preference for waiting until the toss is declared. The chasing side could have the advantage but I'll put my faith in the Capitals who will need a fast start from their most prolific batsman.
It's not been a great few weeks for Shikhar Dhawan: Having been left out of India's T20 World Cup squad, the left hander has struggled for runs since the tournament switched to the UAE. A high score of 42 helped with the win over Sunrisers Hyderabad but Dhawan is only just ahead of Sanju Samson in the race for the Orange Cap.
Omission from the World Cup could be having an effect but he's rarely out of form for long so I'm backing Dhawan in Delhi's top batsman market. He'll start as favourite but the current price of 3.55/2 isn't the worst.
Other options here include Steve Smith at 3.814/5, Shreyas Iyer at 4.1 and Shimron Hetmyer at 5.95/1.
In the most sixes betting, odds for both teams have headed above the 2.01/1 mark so there could be some value here. Delhi Capitals are marginal favourites at 2.0811/10 with Mumbai at 2.166/5 and the Tie at 6.611/2.
With Rohit, De Kock, Pollard and the Pandyas in their line up, Mumbai are a tempting bet here. They can provide a profit even if they lose the game or, at worst, a return could alleviate matters if my match winner bet on the Capitals fails to land.
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