Gayle could blow away Delhi

Ed Hawkins things the West Indies man is value on the man of the match market on Sunday from Ahmedabad…

Punjab Kings v Delhi Capitals
Sunday 2 May 15.00
TV: live on Sky Sports

Man of the match pick

Punjab are fighting hard for a play-off spot. A shock win over Bangalore last time out gives them a sniff of breaking up an impenetrable-looking top four of Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi and Mumbai. Perhaps uniquely, they have the opportunity to get stronger.

Punjab have not quite found their best combination yet. They may stumble on it after Mayank Agarwal injured an arm and Nic Pooran’s horrendous form continued.

With Pooran recording scores of 0, 0, 9, 0, 19 and 0 it seems inconceivable that he is not axed for Dawid Malan, who has been waiting patiently for his chance. This could mean that Chris Gayle is asked to open with Malan slotting in at his preferred No 3.

If Gayle does open, the price-boosted 4/1 with Sportsbook that he top scores may be of interest. The best bet may be picking him for man of the match. At 9/1 Sportsbook make him a 10% chance. On career form he is just shy of a 14% chance. We were waiting to get with him on this market on the flat surface in Bangalore but we’re conscious we might miss our chance.

Against Bangalore the Ahmedabad pitch looked flat enough (as noted in our match preview) to suit his stand and deliver style. He also boasts an excellent average of 37 against Delhi and strike rate of 156. He has also taken a shine to Kagiso Rabada’s pace in the past, smashing him for 30 runs off 12 balls in one innings.

Chance Yadav

Shikhar Dhawan is 9/4 for top Delhi runscorer. Alas we need a price boost to get involved because it is bang on the money in terms of win rate in the last four tournaments (including this one).

An alternative is a big price. Lalit Yadav could bat at No 4, 5 or 6. He is priced, however, as if he is going to bat at No 8 by Sportsbook. The 30/1 remains strong value. Yadav could well come in for Steve Smith in the anchor role if Delhi feel they need to strengthen their bowling resources with overseas choice Anrich Nortje.

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