Free cricket tips: Indian Premier League preview

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli

There is an IPL double-header on Saturday and with the competition really hotting up, Richard Mann has found a couple of bets from the two fixtures.

Recommended bets: Indian Premier League

1pt Sanju Samson top Rajasthan Royals batsman against Royal Challengers Bangalore at 10/3

3pts Sunrisers Hyderabad to beat Kolkata Knight Riders at 1/1

For details of advised bookmakers and each-way terms, visit our transparent tipping record


Royal Challengers Bangalore continued their late bid for a playoff place when downing table-toppers Sunrisers Hyderabad in a high-scoring encounter at Bengaluru on Thursday.

RCB began the season with all sorts of problems, the top order failing to fire and the bowling, Umesh Yadav apart, struggling to find any consistency.

Illness to AB de Villiers was another major setback for Virat Kohli's men but the South African has returned to the fold in imperious form and was the star of the show against Sunrisers.

His majestic 69 from only 39 balls set up RCB's imposing total of 218 and he then pulled off one of the great IPL catches when dismissing the dangerous Alex Hales with a one-handed grab on the leg-side boundary.

Having now won their last three games, RCB find themselves firmly back in the mix and key to their resurgence has been the contributions of their senior players with Kohli, de Villiers, Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal all standing up.

The recent inclusion of Moeen Ali has been an inspired move and with the late-season Indian wickets starting to take plenty of spin, his bowling could thrive just as his batting has done in recent weeks.

RCB make obvious appeal against Rajasthan Royals on Saturday but have been well found in the market at 1/2.

The Royals are another side to picked up their form of late but much of that has been down to the form of Jos Buttler and with him, and fellow countryman Ben Stokes, returning to England to prepare for next week's Test match with Pakistan, the boys in blue could really struggle now.

If there is a bet to be found in this one, it is probably in the top Rajasthan batsman market with Sanju Samson making plenty of appeal at 10/3.

Samson has enjoyed a strong IPL2018, making 391 runs at an average of 32.58, only second to Buttler in the Royals' run charts.

A natural stroke-maker with surprising power and no less elegance, Samson should find himself back in the top three with Buttler and Stokes now out of the picture and all recent evidence suggests he can outscore the likes of Ajinkya Rahane and D'Arcy Short.

Rahane is a real class act but the last couple of years have been more a struggle for him - in all forms of the games - and he gone from one of India's first picks to being a far from certain starter in recent times.

Statistically, he been far less impressive than Samson in this year's tournament, scoring exactly 100 fewer runs despite facing 40 balls more.

As for Short, he has been one of most disappointing buys from the auction having arrived with a glowing reputation following his exploits in the Big Bash for Hobart Hurricanes.

Getting 115 runs at 16.42 is a poor return for the opener and it is somewhat surprising to see him priced up shorter than Samson in some books, especially given that Samson made 92 from 45 balls when last facing RCB.

In the later kick-off, I can't resist sticking with old friends Sunrisers Hyderabad back on home soil.

As mentioned earlier, Sunrisers couldn't overhaul RCB's mammoth first innings total in their clash on Thursday but they made a good fist of it, Kane Williamson (81 from 42) and Manish Pandey (62 from 38) getting them within 14 runs of victory.

Kane Williamson
Kane Williamson remains in excellent form

Williamson's men have now lost their last two but such was their dominance earlier in the campaign, they remain on top of the table (at the time of writing) and still look to be playing very good cricket.

It was their usually excellent bowing that let them down on Thursday but the return to home comforts will suit them ideally and the likes of Rashid Khan, Shakib Al Hasan and Sandeep Sharma could have too much nous for a Kolkata Knight Riders batting line up that is daunting but does rely more on power than finesse.

The excellent Bhuvneshwar Kumar sat out the defeat to RCB as Sunrisers looked to 'manage his workload' following injury that has troubled him throughout the competition.

However, Williamson and coach Tom Moody will be keen to resume winning ways ahead of the playoffs and it will be a surprise if Kumar isn't back taking the new ball on Saturday.

Like Sunrisers, KKR can boasts a rich history in this competition and they currently sit third in the table having won their last two matches.

The likes of Chris Lynn and Dinesh Karthik lead a powerful batting line up which also includes the brutal Andre Russell and Sunil Narine, a revelation at the top of the order this season.

They were blown away by Sunrisers when the two sides met in Kolkata earlier in the campaign, though, and with boys in orange boasting home advantage this time around, evens looks very fair.

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