Tigers seek momentum against scarred Bulls!
Delhi Bulls to win the match!
The 2019 T10 League is gathering momentum now with all the teams settling into vagaries of the tournament. The Bulls, who are fresh off a defeat against the Tuskers, will be taking on the Tigers who have just notched up their first win of the tournament against the Tuskers. Thisara Perera's men used their batting might to good effect to chase down a mammoth total of 114.
Considering their team structure, chasing seems the best option to win games and they were fortunate with the toss going their way. The bowling unit is quite thin and hence, defending scores could be difficult. The Bulls have a comparatively more rounded team but they are also a side that likes to chase. Bulls' bowling isn't great either but is definitely more reliable than that of their counterparts in this contest. The Tigers have an advantage in batting depth, given the plethora of all-rounders but overall, Bulls seem to have better resources.
Still early days in the tournament but one thing that will worry the Bulls is their top-order failures. In both the matches so far, their top three haven't contributed much at all and while the Morgan-Mathews pair guided them to victory in the first game, the duo couldn't repeat their heroics in the next encounter.
One of the basics of cricket, especially in the shorter formats is that the need for a strong start upfront. Kusal Perera and Paul Stirling, the openers are proven in international cricket but are yet to find their mark in this season. It's unrealistic to expect the middle order to do the job all the time. Morgan (73 runs) and Mathews (53 runs) have been the form batsmen for the Bulls in the two games so far. The bowling, despite not being in top gear, isn't as much of a concern, as the top order issue is.
K Perera(wk), P Stirling, S Rutherford, E Morgan(c), M Nabi, A Mathews, D Willey, A Rashid, A Khan, D Chameera, Z Khan
Dushmantha Chameera, Ravi Rampaul, Eoin Morgan, Kusal Perera, AU Rashid, Ali Khan, Sherfane Rutherford, Angelo Mathews, Muhammad Usman, Mohammad Nabi, David Willey
Despite their last-over defeat in the opening match against the Gladiators, Tigers bowling is toothless and it's a no-brainer that they need to chase most of the time to win. Against the Tuskers, they got that opportunity and despite having to chase a big score of 114, the Tigers managed to do it. Colin Ingram with a rapid 21-ball 37 shone in the first game with able support from Rilee Rossouw's 12-ball 26.
There are plenty of power hitters down the order and Tom Moores' unbeaten 9-ball 28 further proves that the Tigers have enough firepower with the bat. They just need to find a way to be consistent with the ball.
R Rossouw, A Fletcher, C Ingram, T Perera(c), T Moores(wk), R Frylinck, S Jayasuriya, F Reza, D Wiese, L Plunkett, Q Ahmad
RR Rossouw, R Frylinck, Liam Plunkett, Thisara Perera, D Wiese, Colin Ingram, ADS Fletcher , Chirag Suri, Kevin Koththiigoda, Tom Moores, Qais Ahmad
The forecast for the evening is clear in Abu Dhabi with temperatures hovering around the mid-20s or thereabout. Humidity is expected to be strictly average. The pitches are generally good for batting but the big ground dimensions, especially square of the wicket, should keep the bowlers interested as well.
Sheikh Zayed Stadium is one of the finest grounds in UAE and has been known for its quality infrastructure. Average score batting first on the second day of T10 League was 110. During the first nine matches, teams batting second have won five matches while the defending side has three wins with one game tied.
While the first few matches saw the chasing trend of T20 cricket spread into T10, teams have thereafter managed to win some games by defending as well. This means that the toss isn't as relevant is it is touted to be. Chasing could still be preferred, unless you have a world-class bowling attack or if the surface is extremely dry.
With the return of Rutherford and Nabi, the Bulls look stronger and favorites in this clash against the Tigers whose only chance of winning will be if they get to chase.
With a thin bowling attack, they will have to rely a lot on their batsmen to get them through.
Delhi Bulls to win the match!