We are back with the IPL 2016 !!!!


Overall - Prediction
Daily Match - PREDICTION
Day/Date IST GMT Team vs Team Venue
2:30 pm 9:00 am Gujarat Lions
Sunrisers Hyderabad
Feroz Shah Kotla, Delhi

T20 News

Organised Daredevils take on struggling Supergiants


Big Picture
After losing their opening match in horrendous fashion, Delhi Daredevils have turned their season around. They have put in six impressive performances, winning five of them and losing one by a run. They have been led admirably by captain Zaheer Khan, whose creative field settings, mentorship and positivity have yielded rich dividends. That is to say nothing of his own bowling, which has been mostly spot on. As young batsmen like Karun Nair and Rishabh Pant find form, the team increasingly looks to have most bases covered.

The opposite is the case for Rising Pune Supergiants, who will make the trip to Feroz Shah Kotla for Thursday's encounter. Supergiants' campaign got off to a bright start, with a win over Mumbai Indians, but has rapidly gone off the rails and is now something of a shambles.

The bowling has been a weak link, with the pacers leaking runs and the lead spinner, R Ashwin, struggling to make an impact. The batting looked strong, but with the injuries to three of their five leading run-scorers - Kevin Pietersen, Faf du Plessis and Steven Smith - they have a massive hole to fill in that department as well. Having lost six of their eight matches so far, Supergiants are on the verge of entering do-or-die territory.

Meanwhile, it is worth keeping one eye on the battle of the captains. Zaheer had served as the leader of the pace attack for India under MS Dhoni. Now, for the first time, he has the chance to pit his captaincy wiles against his former captain. An innovative bowling leader - experienced, yet new to the job - will lock horns with a veteran who has led many a title-winning team.

Form guide
Delhi Daredevils WWLWW (last five matches, most recent first)
Rising Pune Supergiants LLWLL

In the spotlight
It is difficult to look past Zaheer Khan at the moment. He has combined figures of 4 for 48 in 7.3 overs in the last two matches, with his guile and penetration supplementing his returns. His captaincy seems to have rubbed off on his team. One feels that as long as Zaheer can continue to fire as bowler and as captain, Daredevils can continue to be greater than the sum of their parts.

In a team bereft of fast bowling options, Thisara Perera will have an increasingly important role to play. He has bowled well in patches, including towards the end, and his 13-ball 34 against Royal Challengers Bangalore displayed his usefulness with the bat. Supergiants need him to combine these facets consistently and become the go-to bowling allrounder they desperately yearn for.

Team news
After an impressive all-round bowling performance that set up a clinical eight-wicket win, Daredevils have little reason to change their XI.

Delhi Daredevils (probable): 1 Quinton de Kock (wk), 2 Rishabh Pant, 3 Sanju Samson, 4 Karun Nair, 5 Sam Billings, 6 JP Duminy, 7 Chris Morris, 8 Amit Mishra, 9 Mohammad Shami, 10 Zaheer Khan (capt), 11 Shahbaz Nadeem

Usman Khawaja and George Bailey have joined the Supergiants set-up and are available for selection. Given Smith's injury and Peter Handscomb's unconvincing innings against Mumbai Indians, they might both slot into the playing XI.

Rising Pune Supergiants (probable): 1 Ajinkya Rahane, 2 Usman Khawaja, 3 Saurabh Tiwary, 4 George Bailey, 5 MS Dhoni (capt, wk), 6 Thisara Perera, 7 Rajat Bhatia, 8 Scott Boland, 9 R Ashwin, 10 M Ashwin, 11 Ashok Dinda

Pitch and conditions
The Feroz Shah Kotla tends to favour spinners and slow bowlers. Interestingly, the last three matches played at this venue have been won by the team batting first, bucking the overall trend of this IPL. Two of them, though, were afternoon matches. The evening match saw Gujarat Lions prevail over Daredevils by one run. Temperatures on Thursday are forecast to hit the late 30s. There is a possibility of scattered showers in the afternoon, but that shouldn't affect the match.

Stats and trivia
Daredevils' opening stands amounted to 58 runs in their first 6 matches. In the last match, openers Quinton de Kock and Pant added 115
Supergiants' economy rate of 8.14 is second best among all teams; their run rate of 8.38 is fourth


Amla set to replace Shaun Marsh at Kings XI


South Africa batsman Hashim Amla is set to replace the injured Shaun Marsh at Kings XI Punjab, ESPNcricinfo has learnt. Marsh was ruled out of IPL 2016 on Monday due to a back injury.

It is understood that clearances for Amla's stint with the team have been obtained and ESPNcricinfo has learnt that he is expected to join the side soon.

Amla, who stepped down as South Africa's Test captain in January this year, is yet to make his IPL debut. The batsman was part of the player list for the 2016 auction in February, with a base price of INR 1 crore, but remained unsold.

Overall, Amla has played 88 T20s scoring 2446 runs at an average of 31.35 and a strike rate of 125.95. He scored two fifties as an opening batsman for South Africa in the recent World T20, tallying 120 runs in four matches in the tournament at a strike rate of 134.83.

Marsh reportedly picked up the injury in the game against Kolkata Knight Riders on April 19, and has been carrying a niggle since. He batted and fielded in Sunday's game, when Kings XI beat Gujarat Lions, with some discomfort.


Gambhir, Uthappa and Russell knock Kings XI down


"One interesting decision and everyone forgets you hit a fifty in the last game." It seemed Glenn Maxwell was still smarting from an incorrect caught-behind decision in Kings XI Punjab's previous game against Gujarat Lions. He couldn't score any runs then, but on Wednesday, it was almost like he couldn't be stopped.

Almost, because Piyush Chawla found a way, and did so at the perfect time. Maxwell fell for 68 off 42 balls with his side still 45 runs away from a target of 165 with only 26 balls in hand. A well-populated Eden Gardens reveled in the tension. So did a bowling attack that featured six internationals. Kolkata Knight Riders closed out a victory by seven runs and climbed to the top of the table.

Andre Russell had 11 runs to defend in the final over and he did so by picking up one wicket, apart from two run-outs, to finish with 4 for 20 in four overs. He was Knight Riders' battering ram, but he needed Chawla to make that decisive dent. By contrast, Kings XI were reliant on one man and he had far too much to do.

Maxwell took on the challenge though. He came in with the score on 13 for 3 and his determination to contribute was apparent in the shots he played - flicks and cuts against the Knight Riders quicks, who bowled too short at him, and powerful lofts down the ground against the spinners. Essentially, Maxwell wanted to limit the risks he took. His fifty came off only 29 balls, by which time he had played only one reverse sweep.

Towards the end of his innings, the cross-batted shots kept coming out and one of them did him in. Maxwell misread a googly from Chawla, played a reverse sweep against the turn and was adjudged lbw by umpire Anil Chaudhary. The batsman walked off unhappy because he felt he was hit outside the line of off stump, and while replays indicated more than half the ball had been outside the line, some of his anger may have been directed at himself. He was the only Kings XI batsman who showed any kind of control and with him out of the way, Knight Riders breezed past the finish line.

The result seemed never in doubt when Russell had knocked over Marcus Stoinis and Vohra in his first two overs. Morne Morkel had M Vijay caught at mid-off in the fourth over as the Kings XI top order paid the price for not taking time to understand a slow pitch.

Knight Riders fared better in that department as well. Gautam Gambhir and Robin Uthappa struck fluent half-centuries and added 101 runs for the opening partnership. Though the run-rate they maintained was only 7.48, they laid an excellent foundation for the big-hitters down the order by punishing a bowling line-up that couldn't get their length right.

On a sluggish pitch, short-pitched bowling allowed the batsman time to pick his spots, as Stoinis found out in the third over when Gambhir pulled a couple of fours away. It also allowed time to recover after making a mistake, as Mohit Sharma found out in the fourth over when Uthappa came forward to a back of a length delivery and was still able to drive it past point.

On top of that, Kings XI dropped Uthappa three balls after Gambhir was run-out. The culprit, Mohit, recovered well though. He and Sandeep Sharma switched to a mix of yorkers and slower deliveries for the last five overs. That meant Yusuf Pathan and Russell could not bring their power-hitting into play and Knight Riders had to settle for only 43 runs in that period.

Kings XI have dropped to the bottom of the table with six losses in eight games. They went in with only three overseas players on Wednesday - Maxwell, Stoinis and David Miller - after Shaun Marsh's back injury ruled him out of the IPL two days ago. Hashim Amla, who was brought in as a replacement, sat out because he had arrived in India on the day of the match and had had very little time to prepare.


Pant, bowlers help Daredevils crush Lions


In another clinical display, Delhi Daredevils' bowlers restricted table-toppers Gujarat Lions to 149, setting up a convincing eight-wicket win in Rajkot's last game of the season. In the chase, Rishabh Pant and Quinton de Kock blazed a 115-run partnership off 81 balls - the side's joint-fourth highest opening stand - to help Daredevils breeze to the second spot on the points table. Despite successive losses, Lions retained their place at the top. It was the 24th win by a chasing side in 31 games this season.

After opting to bowl, Daredevils' bowlers set up an advantage in the first four overs. It looked like Shahbaz Nadeem had trapped Brendon McCullum in front in the first over, but umpire Chris Gaffaney indicated that the batsman had got an inside edge. After facing three of the first 16 balls, McCullum charged at a Zaheer Khan slower ball. Like most of Zaheer's offcutters this season, it beat McCullum's wild swing and clipped the off stump.

Two balls later, Dwayne Smith chipped a long-hop from Nadeem to long-on. In the same over, Aaron Finch, who replaced an injured Dwayne Bravo, got a leading edge off his attempted sweep to short fine leg. Lions' three overseas batsmen were dismissed and already the middle order was limited to playing for singles and twos into Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium's large pockets. The score at the end of six overs read 35 for 3, Lions' lowest Powerplay returns of the season.

Apart from a well-timed uppercut for six, Suresh Raina struggled to find his timing. Dinesh Karthik, though, accrued his runs through well-placed sweeps and flicks in the vast outfield. Just when it looked like Lions had consolidated after the early jolt, Raina was stumped after misjudging a googly from Amit Mishra.

Thereafter, Ravindra Jadeja and Karthik resorted to the same modus operandi as the previous few overs. The pair, however, set up a solid platform for the end overs. Lions found at least one boundary in every over after the 13th, except the penultimate one.

The last five overs yielded 50 with hard-run twos contributing to the Lions score. Yet, the extent of the damage in the first four overs was so severe that Lions could only muster a sub-par 149.

De Kock and Pant, promoted to the opening slot, effectively finished the game by plundering nine boundaries in a 61-run Powerplay. Pant was particularly dominant with scythed cuts off the seamers' wide offerings. When the ball was straight, Pant used his strong bottom hand to whip fours through the arc at midwicket.

After matching Pant in the Powerplay, de Kock laid anchor and milked the bowling for singles. Pant, though, did not slow down. He used his feet to smear and swipe towards the long-on region as he struck his first limited-overs fifty, off 25 balls.

Both Pant and de Kock were dismissed after across-the-line heaves, but Sanju Samson and JP Duminy, who returned after regaining fitness, took Daredevils home with 16 balls remaining.


View All