Match 18 IPL 2017 (2017-04-17) @ Delhi (FSK)
Kolkata have won 4 of the last 6 encounters between these two teams. In the Cricsq ratings they are two very closely matched teams. Delhi have 92 points and Kolkata 97. Both teams have only lost 1 match this season.
KKR defeated the defending Champions SRH in their last match. They set them 173 to win and then restricted them to 155. The success was largely due to their spinners Sunil Narine and Kuldeep Yahdav bowling excellently on the Eden Gardens wicket. They have a problem with the economy rates of their pace attack.
Delhi started their campaign with a defeat to RCB. After restricting them to 157 they failed to chase the runs down, scoring just 142 in their 20 overs. Delhi batted first in their next two matches. Having set large totals they then restricted RPS to 108 and KXIP to 137.
Even though 12 of the last 18 IPL matches have been won by the team batting second Delhi chose to bat first against KXIP. It seems to suit their style of play to set a big total with the pressure off their young batsmen and then use their strong bowling attack to defend.
Kolkata are currently 1.86 to win the match with Delhi at 2.16. With Delhi playing at home I think it is a 50/50 match at best for Kolkata. Both teams have been batting well but Delhi edge it with their all-round bowling attack and deeper batting. For these reasons I have backed Delhi to win on Betfair at 2.16.
Delhi have a top order based around young Indian players and Sam Billings. They then use all-rounders Corey Anderson and Chris Morris to add power for quick runs towards the end of the innings.
This has worked for them setting totals in their two matches where they set and defended 205 and 188. In the first game chasing against RCB the batting crumbled under pressure.
Tare and Nair have both played in 2 of the 3 matches. They are the only batsmen who have not contributed so far. Tare has 18 runs and Nair has just 4 runs. Nair is likely to be given another chance.
Samson has been in fine form. He scored IPL10''s only century so far against RPS. He replaced Tare at the top of the order in Delhi''s last match. He has scored 134 runs at a strike rate 144.
Sam Billing has scored 104 runs at a strike rate of 137. He has always got the innings off to a good start but Dehli will be looking for a big score from him. Pant has also batted well scoring 103 runs at a strike rate of 154.
Corey Anderson replaced Carlos Brathwaite after the first match. He has added useful seam bowling and power in the middle order. His 39 not out off 22 balls against KXIP lifted the score to a more than competitive total.
Chris Morris has played two great cameos. 38 off 9 against RPS and 16 off 8 against KXIP. His strike rate is 264. He will not come off every time but when Delhi bat first and there is less pressure, he has the ability to turn an ordinary score into a very good one.
Delhi have only used 7 bowlers throughout the competition so far. Anderson replaced Brathwaite as a seaming all-rounder after the first match and has gone for 8.25 an over. This is a decent economy rate for T20s but all the other Delhi bowlers have gone for less.
Chris Morris leads a strong pace attack. He has taken 7 wickets with an economy rate of 6.3. Pat Cummings has 5 wickets with an economy rate of 6.85 and Zaheer Zhan 5 wickets with an economy rate of 8.1.
The Delhi spinners have also been good. Mishra and Nadeem have taken 4 wickets each. Nadeem has an exceptional economy rate of 4.9. Mishra has an acceptable 7.4 an over economy rate.
The Delhi attack is well balanced and has no weak links. They have the additional options of Rabada, Hiffenhaus, Mathews and Mohammed Shami.
After losing Chris Lynn with a shoulder injury Narine has opened the batting with Gambhir. He scored 37 of 18 balls against KXIP and 6 off 9 against SRH.
Gambhir has been in excellent form scoring 182 runs with a strike rate of 144. Uttappa has been batting at 3 this season. He returned to form on Saturday against SRH scoring 68 off 39 to set up the teams match winning 172. Manish Pandey has also been in form scoring 152 at a strike rate of 155.
A potential problem for KKR is the form Yusuf Pathan and Suryakumar Yadav. Neither have scored runs in the 2 innings they have played. Woakes has also not done much in the few balls he has faced.
KKR cannot keep relying on the top order to make all the runs. They will need all-rounders like de Grandhomme and Woakes to score some quick runs during the competition.
KKR''s spin bowlers have done far better than their seamers so far. Sunil Narine has been classy going at less than a run a ball and taking 3 wickets. He has been backed up by Kuldeep Yadav who has taken 4 wickets with an economy rate of 6.9.
The 3rd spinner used so far is Piyush Chawla. He has taken 2 wickets but been expensive going at almost 10 an over. Shakib Al Hasan is also available to KKR. He is a quality T20 spinner and batsman. He could replace de Grandhomme in the batting order.
The pace attack for KKR has been very expensive so far. Woakes has 5 wickets but has gone for 10.6 an over. Boult has just 2 wickets and has gone for just over 10 an over. Rajpoot went for 9.25 an over in the 1 match he played in. Umesh Yadav has 4 wickets in 2 matches but also has a poor economy rate going at 8.6 an over.
KKR should consider playing Nathan Coulter-Nile instead of Boult. He has a far better record in T20 league matches with an overall economy rate since 2014 of 7.6 runs an over. This compares to Boult''s figure of 9.4 runs per over in the same time period.
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