About the Match
Two back to back losses for Gujarat Lions increased their tally to seven and they stand at 7th position with six points from 10 matches. They are set to face Delhi Daredevils on 4th May 2017 at Feroz Shah Kotla in what will be a do-or-die encounter for both sides. Daredevils have won three games from nine matches and they need to win all their remaining fixtures so as to ascertain a top-four berth. With the two teams still in the race for qualification, and the fact that the two teams meet twice in a matter of six days make the things even more interesting.
Although its just one game, Delhi definitely seems to be enjoying their homecoming. They registered an emphatic win in a match which was being considered a mismatch in favor of Sunrisers Hyderabad by many Cricket pundits. Not many would have fancied them to chase down an 185-run total considering their 67-run all-out performance against Kings XI Punjab.
Their batting performed all cylinders with contribution from every batsman and Karun Nair finding some form. Sunrisers have been the best bowling side of the season so far and chasing such a big total against them would have done a world of good to the confidence of their batsmen. Coincidentally, they'll now be up against a team which hasn't really delivered in the bowling department. Sanju Samson has been brilliant throughout the IPL and is among the highest run-getters of the tournament. Pant has been good in flashes and has played some nice little cameos and Morris has been clinical with his finishing touches. Corey Anderson found some form in the previous match as he played a match-defining innings of 41 runs.
Their bowling failed to live up to the expectations of the tags their bowlers carry. With the likes of Rabada, Morris, Shami, and Mishra in the armory, the target of 185 appeared to be a bit too much. Their bowlers, especially spinners, will be looking to do better against Gujarat Lions who batsmen do not really fancy facing the spinners. Having done well in the tournament so far, the onus will once again on the bowlers and if their batsmen can play like the other night, the Daredevils might just become a force to reckon with.
Unlike last year, when the Lions were consistently sitting at the table, the Lions have been languishing in the bottom of the table throughout the competition so far. Although their batsmen have been fluent, their bowlers haven't really helped the batsmen and the fact that Gujarat is the team to take the lowest number of wickets in the season do not really support their cause. They've clearly missed the services of Dwayne Bravo whose performance could have been vital had he been playing.
Brendon McCullum has been excellent with the bat and it appears that the Indian youngster in Ishan Kishan is going to be his opening partner for the rest of the matches. Kishan has been getting starts but has thrown in away twice out of two occasions. He'll be keen it strike it big this time. They bat deep with Raina, Finch, Jadeja and Faulkner coming next in the batting order and everyone among those has been amongst some runs.
It's their bowling which has been a cause of concern for them and the injury to Andrew Tye has only aggravated their concern. With Jadeja not looking in best of form, their only wicket taking option is James Faulkner, who too has been expensive so far. Basil Thampi, too has bowled well at the death but has been expensive upfront. All in all, their bowlers lack experience and the injury to Tye only adds to their woes. Their batsmen would have to step up and if they can do that, the Lions can become an extremely dangerous unit.
The two teams have faced each other twice before in the IPL and the number stands at 1-1. Gujarat Lions are going through a tough phase at the moment after being on the receiving end of two close contests. Delhi Daredevils, on the other hand, won their last game quite comfortably. With home advantage and excellent bowling attack at their disposal, Delhi Daredevils go in as favorites to win this match