KKR to bounce back with win over Sunrisers
Both the Kolkata Knight Riders and Sunrisers Hyderabad will be looking to get their first points on the board in this year’s Indian Premier League. They will be hoping to right the wrongs of their unsuccessful run chases in their first games.
Bring the stump back
The late Northamptonshire Steelbacks Head Coach David Capel had a saying amongst his side of ‘bring the stump back’ meaning make sure you’re the batsman there, at the end to get the job done. This is a message that should have been told to Jonny Bairstow, whose wicket sparked a dramatic collapse against RCB last time out. Bairstow’s 61 got the Sunrisers in to what seemed like a match winning position, where they needed just 43 runs to win from 29 balls with 8 wickets in hand. Once Bairstow departed the crease, they fell like a house of cards, to fall agonisingly 10 runs short.
Their effort in their first game wasn’t helped by a serious looking injury to Australian all-rounder Mitch Marsh. He only managed to bowl four balls and limped out at number 10 in a last gasp attempt to save the game. Since then, Marsh has been ruled out for the remainder of the tournament but has been quickly replaced with a like for like replacement in West Indian Jason Holder joining the ranks for the rest of the competition. It is rare to find a replacement of the quality of Jason Holder, so the Sunrisers fans can count themselves lucky in that regard.
Get off to a faster start
The Kolkata Knight Riders have the hitting capabilities to outscore any side in the competition, but they struggled to get going in their opening match against the Mumbai Indians. Chasing a sizable score of 196, they left the big hitting Eoin Morgan and Andre Russell too much to do, and fell 49 runs short. Captain Dinesh Karthik will use all of his experience to rally his troops and get them focused on the game in hand.
KKR will be hoping that Aussie star Pat Cummins has a better day with the ball than his first game which saw the paceman be hit for 49 from just three overs. In an ironic turn of event, Cummins scored some handy runs down the order with the bat, hitting an impressive 33 from 12 balls, which included four big sixes. He ended up being the highest scorer for KKR in the whole match.
I can’t see Kolkata being as rusty as they were in their first game, so I think they will have the edge over Sunrisers Hyderabad in this one. The Sunrisers middle order will need to improve dramatically if they are going to win this one, or indeed go the distance in this year’s IPL.
I am backing the Kolkata Knight Riders to beat Sunrisers Hyderabad at 2.05 with Betway.