Kings XI Punjab are off and running following a slow start to the competition and it would have been good for fans to see a number of key batters hit form. The bowling is still a concern but there was enough to restrict Pune to a modest total before Manan Vohra, Murali Vijay and Glenn Maxwell did their job.
For KKR, it’s all been about Gautam Gambhir so far as the skipper battles for the Orange Cap, but there’s plenty of depth to the 2014 champions who look like they could go a long way once again.
Update 19/04/2016 – Knight Riders Win
Kolkata Knight Riders 141 for 4 (Uthappa 53, Gambhir 34, Sahu 2-18) beat Kings XI Punjab 138 for 8 (Marsh 56, Narine 2-22) by only six wickets
Kolkata Knight Riders continue to dominate the series and look rock solid in their intent for the IPL title .
Punjab vs Kolkata Match Odds
No huge surprises here as the Knight Riders have a clear lead in the result market at 1.67 with 888Sport. Kings XI are the outsiders at 2.30 with Bet365, but should we wait for the toss before making a decision?
Here’s an incredible stat that you may have already noticed: Of the first 11 games at IPL9, ten have gone with the side batting second. That’s really interesting and although it has to end sometime, it does tend to mess with your thinking when making a bet.
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Let’s come back to the result a little later and look instead at the KKR’s top batsman betting where Gambhir’s form – he has top scored in all three matches so far – sees him take over as clear favourite at 3.50 with 888Sport.
That’s another run that has to end sometime and Robin Uthappa, who has also looked in reasonable touch, is a different option at 3.75 with Bet365.
I have a feeling that this could be a game for Andre Russell who is one of the outside punts at 8.00 with both Bet365 and 888Sport. The big all-rounder usually delivers a profit at least once in any tournament.
Kings XI really need to move their batting order around: Shaun Marsh is my tip in their top batsman betting at 4.25 with 888Sport, but I’d like to see him open rather than bat at three. It will, however, be hard to shift Vohra and Vijay, both of whom scored fifties against RSP and can both be backed at 4.00 with Bet365.
That game was notable for Glenn Maxwell coming back into form and the Australian will tempt a few at his price of 5.50 with Bet365 and 888Sport.
Premium Betting Tips
I mentioned this could be a game where Andre Russell has a big impact: the West Indian is a huge threat with both bat and ball and that’s why it’s worth looking at his 8.50 with Bet365 to win the Man of the Match award.
This is a market where high prices could bring big rewards although it can be a little more unpredictable. If you’d like to play it a little safer, the six hitting market shows KKR as the outside punt to hit most sixes at 2.25 with 888Sport. I would back the favourites KXIP here at their price of 2.10 with Bet365 because they have the greater firepower and can give you a profit even if they lose the match.
So, should we wait for the toss before backing a winner? Stats say you should, but I think that the Knight Riders will come through. It hasn’t all been about Ganbhir although his consistency has taken the side to two wins from four, and he has received decent support from Uthappa while the bowling attack is strengthened by the return of Sunil Narine.
Kings just look a little too fragile with their batting and this is one game where the favourites should come through, no matter if they bat first or second.
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 espncricinfo.com, Spinners, Uthappa lift Knight Riders to top of table, 2016