Match 32 IPL 2017 (2017-04-28) @ Kolkata (EG)
Kolkata have won 5 of the 7 matches between these two sides in the last 3 years. Last season it was one win a piece. KKR bowled Delhi out for just 98 at Eden Gardens last year and then chased the runs down in 14.1 overs.
KKR are top of the table. They have won their last 2 matches. Against RCB they defended a paltry 131 at Eden Gardens. Their pace attack bowled out the highly rated RCB batting line-up for 49 runs. The batsmen were back in form against Pune on Wednesday knocking off the 182 target with ease.
Delhi have not played since last Saturday. They will be hoping that the break has done them good having lost their last 3 matches. They have major problems with their top order batting and need to consider bringing Sam Billings back in. They have struggled when they have had to chase down targets.
Delhi's bowling is very strong. They have Cummings, Morris, Zaheer Khan and Rabada available to bowl pace and Mishra to bowl spin. The attack has done well all season taking wickets and containing sides. They just need their batters to score more runs so they can win matches.
The Eden Gardens has shown a bias for chasing the last 3 years with 59% of teams batting second winning. The toss may be irrelevant with Delhi playing better if they bat first and KKR preferring to chase.
I think that KKR will be too strong for Delhi. Even if Delhi bat first and post a good score I think KKR will chase it down despite the good Delhi bowling attack. If KKR bat first I would fear the Delhi batsmen would cave in under the pressure again. I will be backing KKR at a short price to win.
KKR have 3 batsmen in the top 10 run scorers for the IPL this season. Gambhir is the top run scorer with 305 with a strike rate of 137. Uttappa 6th with 272 runs at 166 runs per 100 ballls. Finally Manish Pandey has 260 runs with a strike rate of 141.
Gambhir and Uttappa both batted exceptionally chasing 182 against Pune on Wednesday. Gambhir opened with Narine and scored 62 off 46 balls. When Narine was dismissed for 16 off 11 balls Uthappa came in and scored 87 off just 47 balls. Both Gambhir and Uttappa were dismissed before the end of the match but they scored the bulk of the runs allowing the chase to be completed with 11 balls to spare.
Since Chris Lynn's injury after 2 matches Narine has opened with Gambhir. He has a license to try to hit every ball in the powerplay for 4 or 6. So far he has been successful scoring 137 runs with a strike rate of 183. This takes the pressure off Gambhir and Uttappa.
Darren Bravo played on Wednesday. He only got to face 5 balls at the end of the chase. Manish Pandey usually bats at 4. He scored the bulk of his 260 in the first few matches and needs to re-find his form.
The middle order consists of Yusuf Pathan, Suryakumar Yadav and Colin de Grandhomme. With the top order batting so well they have not had many opportunities. Pathan scored 59 off 39 in the win against Dehli. Yahav has 44 runs from 5 innings and de Grandhomme just 1 run from 3 innings.
KKR have struggled to maintain their run rate when batting first if their top order gets out. With the top 4 batting so well this has not happened often.
KKR's pace attack bowled RCB out for 49 on Sunday with destructive fast bowling. Against Pune on Wednesday they played 3 spinners and rested Coulter-Nile. It was the right decision with 4 of the 5 wickets going to spinners.
Kolkata have settled on Woakes, Umesh Yadav and Coulter-Nile as their main steamers. De Grandhomme plays as an all-rounder bowling seamers when required. He has 4 wickets with a decent economy rate of 7 an over. Counter-Nile has 8 wickets from 3 matches.
Woakes has 10 wickets but has been expensive going at 9.7 an over. Umesh has also been expensive going at 9.1 an over. He has taken 8 wickets
Narine and Kuldeep Yadav are KKR's main spinners. Narine has 5 wickets and has been very economical going at 6.7 an over. Kuldeep has 8 wickets and has gone at 7.6 an over. Piyush Chawla has played 3 matches and has been expensive going at 9.6 an over.
Delhi's batting has struggled this season. In the two matches they won early on they set high scores and then their bowlers defended well. They have failed to chase down a total this season.
Their worst performance was against Mumbai on Saturday. Chasing 142 the top 6 were dismissed for just 20 runs. 44 from Rabada and 52 from Chris Morris made loss more respectable but they never looked like getting the runs.
Sam Billings was dropped on Saturday with Delhi choosing to go with an all Indian top 5 and playing Rabada as an extra bowler. Billings has 138 from 5 innings and is Delhi's third top run scorer. He might need to come back in to strengthen the batting.
Tare opened with Samson on Saturday. He was out for no runs. He only has 18 runs this season. Samson has been in great form. He has 224 runs at a strike rate of 143.
Karun Nair and Shreyas Iyer bat at 3 and 4. Nair has only 63 from 5 runs and looks completely out of form. Iyer has 104 runs from 4 innings. Rishabh Pant keeps wicket and bats in the middle order. He has a strike rate of 162 and has scored 141 runs.
Corey Anderson and Chris Morris also bat in the middle order. Anderson has only batted 3 times and has 41 runs. He needs to play a big innings. Morris has been exceptional scoring 126 runs with a strike rate of 175.
The Delhi attack was packed with International seamers against Mumbai on Saturday. They restricted them to 142 for 8 off their 20 overs.
Kagiso Rabada was given his first match playing as an overseas player instead of Billings. He took 1 for 30 off 4 overs. Cummings was good again taking 2 for 20. He has 9 wickets with an economy rate of 7.4.
Chris Morris and Zaheer Khan make up the seam attack. Morris is Delhi's top wicket taker with 12. He has a good economy rate of 6.9 an over. Zaheer has 7 wickets with an economy rate of 8.3.
Amit Mishra is Delhi's main spinner. He has 7 wickets with an economy rate of 7.8 an over. He has been supported by Shahbaz Nadeem in 3 matches. Nadeem has 4 wickets with an exceptional economy rate of 4.9 an over.
Corey Anderson has bowled a few overs with an economy rate of 8.2. If Delhi want to bring Billings back into the team they could keep Rabada in the side if they are willing to lose Anderson as an all-rounder.
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