It’s crunch time in IPL 9 in this final round of matches in the league phase, and it really is a case of do-or-die for the Gujarat Lions and the Mumbai Indians on Saturday.
Find what value betting picks we have for you, best batsmen from each team and personal selections.
Match Odds & Game Preview
With a sub-par Net Run Rate, the Lions will leave nothing to chance here despite being in the boxseat points-wise for play-off qualification. Back-to-back victories over the Kolkata Knight Riders have put them on the brink – and consigned KKR to a nervy last fixture to book their own place – and with two wins from their last three matches Suresh Raina’s men must be confident of completing the job in their new (temporary) home of Green Park in Kanpur.
The Mumbai Indians are still very much capable of crashing the play-off party with a win here, and will have shrugged off their three-wicket loss to the Lions more than a month ago by now.
They are in decent enough form – all but ending Delhi Daredevils’ hopes of a last four place with a crushing 80-run win, having lost to a briefly resurgent Kings XI in their prior match – although they will need to improve with the bat, as only one of their batsmen (Krunal Pandya) has passed fifty in their last three innings.
A feature of IPL 9 has been winning the toss and batting second; two-thirds of matches have been won in this fashion. The flip of the coin looks like it could be crucial here too with this Green Park track difficult to score on – just take a look at the Lions’ first fixture here against KKR, where Dwayne Smith, not noted for his bowling, took 4-8 by bowling stump-to-stump with subtle variations in pace. This pitch looks like one where the batsmen never look settled, although Gujarat made light work of chasing down KKR’s total of 124/8.
So, expect home advantage to be a factor here – particularly as the Mumbai Indians tend to struggle with the bat on slower wickets. We’re backing Gujarat to get the job done at 1.91 with 888sport.
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Top Batsmen Betting Picks
Betting Pick: You get the feeling that Green Park doesn’t suit the ballistic batting of Dwayne Smith and Brendon McCullum – both of their wickets against KKR betrayed a complete mis-timing of the ball, and it was left to skipper Raina to show them the way. He made 53 from 36 balls, but this wasn’t your standard IPL knock; it contained plenty of authentic cricket shots. With that in mind, the left-hander once again looks the smart investment at 4.00 with bet365.
We mentioned Krunal Pandya earlier in this article, and he is clearly the most in-form Mumbai batsman at the moment. But his strength – whacking the ball out of the park, basically – will be lessened by this two-paced Kanpur track, so the more classic strokemakers like Martin Guptill will need to come to the party.
It’s been a stop-start campaign for the Kiwi, but he did score at a run-a-ball in his crucial knock of 48 against the Daredevils and so is perhaps bubbling up at the right time. He’s certainly worth a look on this wicket to top score for the Indians at a best price of 4.00 with bet365.
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Other Bet Selections
Value Bet: It’s a leap of faith is this, but Dwayne Smith is 9.00 (bet365) to be the Lion’s top bowler once again. And why not….he clearly enjoyed himself on Wednesday against KKR, and this wasn’t a player just having a jolly; he genuinely bowled well, with slight seam movement either way and pace variations doing the damage. He took 4-8 from four, so will surely be chucked the ball again. Take the price and get involved.