CRICKET boff Josh Healey (@JoshHealey04) has previewed today’s sole IPL encounter.
Kolkata Knight Riders v Chennai Super Kings | Thursday 15.30 | Sky Sports 2
Chennai hosted Kolkata just two days ago where they somehow came out on top in what was a tense, low-scoring encounter. Now it’s time for the reverse fixture at Eden Gardens and Kolkata will be desperate to bounce back.
The home side are good value at 8/5 with Betfair, especially with the instrumental Ravichandran Ashwin out for the visitors but I’m reluctant to back them as they’ve already let me down twice this season.
Not only that but the weather forecast isn’t too promising for Kolkata tomorrow; thunderstorms are expected throughout the day, and so a shortened match is a distinct possibility. I will be keeping an eye on things though and may end up backing them at the last minute or perhaps in-play depending on the situation. I’ll tweet it out if so.
There’s just one bet for me on this game then, and it’s one that won’t be affected by the weather. I’m having a punt on Robin Uthappa to be Top Bat for Kolkata, which is available at 3/1 with Skybet.
Uthappa was instrumental in Kolkata winning the title last season as he notched 660 runs from 16 matches at an outstanding average of 44. He top scored for Kolkata on many occasions last year, including in both games against Chennai where he scored 47 (at Ranchi) and 67 (at Eden Gardens).
Uthappa hasn’t quite hit his stride yet this IPL, but there are ominous signs for opposition bowlers as he looks to be seeing the ball well once again. He has actually top scored in Kolkata’s last two matches, but the scores have largely gone unnoticed as they weren’t particularly high and he was on the losing side both times.
He hit 34 from 21 against Hyderabad and 39 from 17 against Chennai, each time winning top batsman by just one run. Last season his consistency was unrivalled, and after seeing glimpses of that form there’s a decent chance he could go on a good run now.
The rest of Kolkata’s batsmen are in patchy form whilst I sense a half-century is just around the corner for Uthappa, which would probably be enough to claim top batsman for his side in this match.
Kolkata Knight Riders v Chennai Super Kings – Robin Uthappa to be Top Kolkata Batsman (3/1 Skybet)
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