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Knight Riders vs. Supergiant IPL tips, odds & player specials


    IPL 2017 - Match 41

    • Top batsman tips

      Kolkata Knight Riders: Robin Uthappa - $3.75 at Bet365
      Rising Pune Supergiant: Steve Smith - $3.60 at Bet365

Thursday, May 4, 2017 – 12:30am AEST – Eden Gardens, Kolkata
KOLKATA Knight Riders would go top of the 2017 Indian Premier League standings with a win at home, but it remains to be seen whether they have recovered from the wounds inflicted upon them by Sunrisers Hyderabad last weekend.

They had no answers for David Warner, who smashed 126 off only 59 balls as the reigning champions posted a formidable 209 in Sunday’s clash at the Ravij Gandhi.

KKR persisted with Sunil Narine at the top of the order, but he could manage only a single run before holing out on his fourth delivery faced.

It was not a good weekend at all for the West Indies star, whose usually tricky spinners brought no wickets and went at more than 12 runs per over.

Robin Uthappa (53) and Manish Pandey (39) showed some fight with the bat, but otherwise it was a very dirty day for the Knight Riders.

Not so for Pune, who will head to Kolkata on a massive high after their stunning comeback win over Gujarat.

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Chasing 161, the Supergiants looked dead in the water after losing Ajinkya Rahane and Steve Smith inside the first six balls of the innings.

It got even worse when Manoj Tiwary followed the next over, leaving them in a world of bother at three for 10.

That brought Ben Stokes to the crease, and everything changed.

Aided by the timely support of MS Dhoni and Dan Christian, the Englishman carted a brilliant 103 to steer his side to victory with one ball remaining.

That result puts Pune fourth on the 2017 IPL ladder, and a win away at Eden Gardens would give them a very good look at the top spots as we approach the last few league fixtures.

Robin Uthappa top batsman odds

Perhaps the biggest positive to come from the Narine experiment is the form of Uthappa.

After a few middling years atop the order for KRR, the keeper-bat is back to his explosive best at first drop.

The dissolution of that long-running opening partnership with Gautam Gambhir appears to have improved things for all concerned.

The KKR captain is one of only two players in the IPL who have scored more runs than Uthappa this season, the other being the unstoppable Warner.

Some would say Gambhir is the better bet for top batsman, but his clubmate’s run of five half-centuries in seven hits is impossible to ignore.

Steve Smith IPL betting specials

The Supergiants have some interesting options in the player betting markets, and many would be jumping on Stokes after his match-winning effort last time out.

But there are few in the IPL who contribute as consistently as Smith does.

The Pune skipper’s early dismissal against Gujarat was only his second score of under 20 this season – a remarkable stat for a top-order player in Twenty20 cricket.

He has passed 40 on four occasions and sits fifth on the overall batting charts with 324 runs at an average of 46.28 and a strike rate of 136.7.

Although not in the same class as Warner or Brendon McCullum as a pure ballstriker, Smith is a true innovator who can pierce any field with placement, timing and an unorthodox technique.

Gambhir and Kolkata will have to be on guard to keep the Aussie captain quiet.

Kolkata vs. Pune match tips

This one might come down to depth of quality in the top order.

KKR have two experienced bats in the top three who are enjoying something akin to career-best form in T20 cricket.

Supergiants have unearthed a gem in Rahul Tripathi, but are the likes of he and Tiwary capable of pulling out the big scores if Smith and Rahane fail?

Pune’s bowling is also heavily reliant on the wickets of Imran Tahir, so it remains to be seen whether anyone can step up if the South African spinner takes a beating.

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