Match 7 IPL 2017 (2017-04-09) @ Mumbai (WS)
These two teams have been in the IPL since the start. In the last 3 seasons they have had 3 wins a piece. Mumbai won both encounters last year.
Mumbai started their campaign with a stop start innings against Pune. A great last over by Hardik Pandya got them up to 184. Ultimately they were not able to defend this because Smith scored 84 off 54 balls to see Pune home.
Kolkata dominated against a weak Gujarat bowling attack. They go into this match with their batting beyond their openers untested. They restricted a decent Lions batting unit to 183 thanks largely to their spin trio Narine, Chawla and Yahav.
Both sides fielded balanced teams in their first match. Kolkata played two overseas bowlers, an allrounder and Lynn at the top of the order. Mumbai also choose two overseas bowlers, Pollard as the allrounder and Buttler as the opener.
The Mumbai Wankhede Stadium has hosted 49 IPL matches. 51% of matches have been won by the team batting first. The average first innings total is 163 with the average winning first innings score is 177. Given those statistics the toss is not as important here as it is at other IPL stadiums.
Kolkata are the stronger side with a Cricsq rating of 94 compared to Mumbai's 87. Most bookmakers have Mumbai the favourites. For this reason I have backed KKR on early on Betfair at around even money.
Mumbai choose to open with Jos Butler in their first match and hold Rohit back to number 3. Rohit may return to opening now he had an outing following his thigh injury. Buttler got the innings off to a flyer scoring 38 from 19 balls. Parthiv Patel scored 19 from 14.
Their innings slowed down when Tahir came on and took 2 quick wickets. Rana scored 34 from 28 to rebuild the innings. This set up things up for Mumbai's powerful late middle order to hit some big strikes at the end. Pollard scored 27 from 17 and Hardik Pandya managed 35 from 15.
Mumbai will hope that Rohit returns to form to keep the runs flowing through the innings. There is no reason to change the batting line up that managed 184 in the first match.
The strength of the Indian batsmen for Mumbai means they can play an allrounder and two overseas bowlers.
Tim Southee and Mitchell McClenaghan each took one wicket in their first match. McClenaghan went for 9 an over and Southee for 8.5. Whilst Lasith Malinga is unlikely to be available after playing against Bangladesh they do have Mitchell Johnson. He was outstanding in the BBL regularly taking wickets with the new ball. Given Lynn and Gambhir's form he must be included instead of McClenaghan or Southee.
Jasprit Bumrah bowled well in the first match without taking a wicket. He went for 29 in his 4 overs. Both Krunal and Hardik Pandya were expensive going for 10.5 and 9 an over. Pollard was smashed for 30 runs in 11 balls when Smith unleased to win the match in the final over.
KKR's batting line up beyond the openers was untested in the first match. Chris Lynn scored a huge 93 off 43 balls and Gautam Gambhir 76 off 48.
Lynn is brilliant against pace but his strike rate against spin is below 110 runs per hundred balls compared to around 190 against pace. Mumbai's lack of a quality spin may mean he scores big again in this fixture.
There is no reason for KKR to change the rest of their batting order. Uttappa, Pandey, Pathan and Yadav were ready to bat 3, 4, 5 and 6 in their opener. Having Chris Woakes to come at 7 gives them a very strong batting line up.
KKR conceded 183 to a very strong Gujarat batting line up. It was the spinners who did all the damage. The seamers both went for over 10 an over.
Piyush Chawla took the first wicket dismissing Jason Roy for 14. Chawla ended with 1 for 33 off 4 overs. Kuldeep Yadav was the pick of the KKR bowlers taking the wickets of McCullum and Finch and only going for 6.25 an over. Narine was slightly expensive by his high standards going at 8.25 and over.
The seamers will be more of a worry for KKR. Boult managed a wicket but went for 10 an over and Woakes went for 35 from his 3 overs.
KKR do have the option of Australian Nathan Coulter-Nile who has an excellent economy rate of 7.6 in T20 League matches. He could replace Boult with Woakes kept in as an allrounder to maintain the balance of the side. The spinners will remain KKR's main attacking option.
Cricket Betting Bookmakers