The playoffs are here and on Wednesday we head to Delhi for the Eliminator. The 2016 IPL campaign is over for whichever side loses here and it’s going to be tough to pick a winner from two teams who finished level on points during the regular season.
Who are we going to see on the final game? The Sunrisers Hyderabad or Kolkata Knight Riders? These are our betting tips and selections.
Kolkata Knight Riders won the Elimination game by 22 runs:
Sunrisers – 162/80 (20)
Knight Riders – 140/8 (20)
Match Odds & Game Preview
Just a small margin between net run rates separated KKR and the Sunrisers after both finished with 16 points – eight wins and six defeats. Remember we are on neutral ground so there is no home advantage yet the bookies have made Kolkata the clear favourites at 1.81 with 888Sport to progress to Friday’s final qualifier.
Betting Tip: The Knight Riders have been a better all-round side although at times they seemed undecided on their best starting XI. Playing three spinners in a tournament where seam dictated probably prevented them from a top two finish and they must get selection right for Wednesday.
Sunrisers are the outside bet at 2.00 with Bet365 and in contrast to Kolkata, they had no questions over their best bowling attack. Unfortunately, Ashish Nehra has broken down again and will miss the rest of the tournament, but that still leaves two Purple Cap contenders – Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mustafizur Rahman – who are both potent and economical and that’s a perfect combination at any stage of the competition.
One issue for SRH is the over-reliance on David Warner for team runs. Shikhar Dhawan enjoyed a good run of form in the middle of the group phase but in general, the skipper has received little support from the batters around him and that has to change.
Top Batsman Betting Picks
Betting Pick: All through the tournament I’ve been backing David Warner for the Sunrisers and it’s led to a tidy profit. Even as the side’s bid to finish in the top two started to fade, the Australian continued to make runs – including 73 in a losing cause against Delhi.
Warner is at 2.88 with Betfair and I see no reason to change my selection although Shikhar Dhawan scored another half century last time out. Dhawan is listed at 4.50 with Bet365 while Kane Williamson, who has done very little in this tournament, is at a very tempting price of 6.00 with Betfair.
Over in the Kolkata camp, no one batter has dominated their market although Gautam Gambhir and Robin Uthappa have been the men to deliver most of the profits. Gambhir wore the Orange Cap in the early stages and starts as favourite here at 3.60 with Betfair.
Uthappa is just as dangerous and top scores on a consistent basis so I’m going to back the wicket keeper for this one at 3.75 with Bet365 again.
Other higher priced alternatives include Yusuf Pathan, who has found more consistent form this season. Usually, he delivers just one outstanding performance but he’s been dependable in the late overs and is listed at an excellent 7.00 with 888Sport.
*Meet Kolkata Riders Rivals in the finals: Royal Challengers Bangalore Qualify For 2016 IPL Championship Final
Other Bet Selections
It’s not surprising that in the Highest Opening Partnership market, both teams are listed at the same price of 1.91 with 888Sport. Here are two pairings – Uthappa and Gambhir for KKR plus Warner and Dhawan for the Sunrisers – who are evenly matched and scoring most of their side’s runs.
I’m going with the Knight Riders however as in general, it’s either Dhawan or Warner scoring early and although they have made some good opening stands, the Kolkata men are a more reliable bet.
And so it’s back to the game and with two losses in their last two, form is against the Sunrisers. The bookies probably suspect that they are running out of steam after a long tournament but I feel they will raise their game one more time with those seamers and Warner proving key to a narrow victory.
In the News
 espncricinfo, Sunrisers’ seamers snuff out Knight Riders, 2016