After a disappointing defeat to the Sunrisers, KKR have bounced back with two straight wins and now seem to have their starting XI and their batting order sorted after some strange selection choices ahead of that defeat to SRH.
On Saturday, Dinesh Karthik’s men host a Kings XI side who, centred around top class hitting from Chris Gayle, have joined their opponents on six points with three wins from four. Based on form we could have one of the tightest games of the tournament so far, although that’s not how the bookies see it.
The Knight Riders go into this one as clear favourites with Betfair quoting odds of 1.72 on the home side with KXIP some way behind at 2.20 with Betway. A lot could depend on Gayle again and if the left hander is fit enough to play two games in three days he will be a key wicket but Kings don’t rely completely on him.
This is down to KKR again and that spin unit: if they are at their best and their three main slow bowlers, plus Rana, can keep it tight in the middle overs they should take the points once again.
Match Odds Summary: Kolkata Knight Riders 1.72 (Betfair – Editor’s Pick), Kings XI Punjab 2.20 (Betway).
Robin Uthappa is usually quite a consistent batter at the top of the order and with Gautam Gambhir gone, we felt he might give more profits in KKR’s top batsman betting. Uthappa did deliver in that win over Rajasthan and he can now be picked up at 4.33 with Betfair to top score for KKR again on Friday. Chris Lynn starts as the favourite here at 4.00 with Betway while Nitish Rana has been in decent touch and can be claimed at 6.50 with Betfair.
Elsewhere, Sunil Narine is as short as 4.00 in some places so his odds of 7.00 with Betway are generous ones while the same can be said about Andre Russell’s excellent price of 12.00 with Betfair.
For Kings XI Punjab, there must be a question over Chris Gayle and whether he can put his body through a second game in three days, especially after limping through the final stages of the first ton of IPL 11. Gayle can be picked up in KXIP’s top batsman market at 3.50 with Betfair while KL Rahul is just behind at 3.60 with Betway.
Karun Nair has been in good touch and is at 6.00 with Betway while other options are shorter with Aaron Finch and Mayank Agarwal both at 5.50 with Betway again. We may just prefer Rahul over Gayle but for an overall tip, we’ve been backing Chris Lynn for a while and we’ll give the Aussie another chance as it must be time for him to explode beyond these useful starts.
Top Batsman Odds Summary: Kolkata Knight Riders: Lynn 4.00 (Betway – Editor’s Pick), Uthappa 4.33 (Betfair), Rana 6.50 (Betfair), Narine 7.00 (Betway), Dinesh Karthik 7.50 (Betfair), Russell 12.00 (Betfair).
Kings XI Punjab: Gayle 3.50 (Betfair), Rahul 3.60 (Betway), Finch 5.50 (Betway), Agarwal 5.50 (Betway), Nair 6.00 (Betway).
Other Side Bets
The Knight Riders’ spinners may well prove to be their key to success moving forward with Sunil Narine, Piyush Chawla, Kuldeep Yadav and even Nitish Rana tieing teams down after the Powerplay. KKR’s top bowler market could therefore be a good place to sign off on this game with Narine favourite at 3.50 with Betway and Chawla and Yadav giving some value at 3.75 with Betway again.
However, we’ll take one more look at the most sixes market and this time we’ll go with the outside bet. That last ‘Gayle-storm’ has made Kings XI the favourites at 1.83 with Betfair but if Gayle goes early or if he sits this one out, KKR with Lynn, Narine and others, should come through and the Knight Riders are generous at 2.30 with Betfair again.
A blitz from that KKR top order plus some intelligent spin bowling, should also seal the match bet for the home side.
Most Sixes Odds Summary: Kolkata Knight Riders 2.30 (Betfair – Editor’s Pick), Kings XI Punjab 1.83 (Betfair), The Tie 7.50 (Betfair).