Seven long weeks of intense T20 action are almost at an end and as we come to the conclusion of this year’s Indian Premier League, the two best teams are set to face each other in Sunday’s final.
Chennai Super Kings and Sunrisers Hyderabad are assembling in Mumbai after occupying the top two places in regular season and then coming through the play offs. Both are former winners but who will have their name on the trophy once more on Sunday night?
The bookmakers are coming down heavily in favour of Chennai who start as favourites at 1.72 with Betway, leaving the Sunrisers as the outside bet at 2.15 with Betfair. Form and stats suggest this is a logical conclusion with CSK coming straight through to Sunday’s final after beating Hyderabad in Tuesday’s first qualifier.
Prior to that game, the head to head matches in the regular season show that Chennai took full points on both occasions so, in three ties between these two at IPL 11, the Super Kings won all three.
The Sunrisers also struggled with form before Friday’s victory over KKR ended a run of four straight defeats. As Kane Williamson’s men proved in that game, anything can happen in a one-off match but form and those head-to-head stats make backing CSK the better option.
Match Odds Summary: Chennai Super Kings 1.72 (Betway – Editor’s Pick), Sunrisers Hyderabad 2.15 (Betfair).
Ambati Rayudu has been CSK’s most consistent batsman this season and he retains a chance of winning the Orange Cap as the tournament’s leading run scorer. Not surprisingly, he starts as favourite to top score for Chennai in Sunday’s final at 3.75 with Betfair followed by Shane Watson at 4.00 with Betway.
Suresh Raina follows at 4.50 with Betfair and while some outlets have Faf Du Plessis as short as 4.00, there will be definite interest in the South African at a generous 7.00 with Betway. MS Dhoni will also be heavily backed at 7.50 with Betfair while Dwayne Bravo concludes our list of CSK options at 21.00 with Betway.
The Sunrisers Hyderabad include the man currently leading the Orange Cap standings so it’s logical that Kane Williamson should start as favourite to be their leading run scorer with most outlets. Elsewhere, Betfair have both Williamson and Shikhar Dhawan available as joint favourites at 3.75 while Manish Pandey follows at 5.00 with Betfair and Wriddhiman Saha is out at 5.50 with Betway.
Other options for SRH include Shakib Al Hasan at 7.00 and Yusuf Pathan at 10.00, both with Betway.
Our preference here would be for Williamson but for our overall tip we’re going with Suresh Raina to top score for the Super Kings. He’s supported Rayudu for much of this tournament but Raina is a big-game player with a number of high scores at late tournament stages and 4.50 is a value price.
Top Batsman Odds Summary: Chennai Super Kings: Rayudu 3.75 (Betfair), Watson 4.00 (Betway), Raina 4.50 (Betfair – Editor’s Pick), Du Plessis 7.00 (Betway), Dhoni 7.50 (Betfair), Bravo 21.00 (Betway).
Sunrisers Hyderabad: Williamson 3.75 (Betfair), Dhawan 3.75 (Betfair), Pandey 5.00 (Betfair), Saha 5.50 (Betway), Shakib 7.00 (Betway), Yusuf Pathan 10.00 (Betway).
Other Side Bets
Sunrisers’ bowling attack is back to its best thanks largely to Rashid Khan who returned key figures of 3/19 in Kolkata’s run chase on Friday. The leg spinner took some punishment in the middle of IPL 11 but has responded positively and is our final tip as Hyderabad’s top bowler in Sunday’s final at 3.25 with Betway.
Sunrisers Hyderabad Top Bowler Odds Summary: Rashid Khan 3.25 (Betway), Bhuvneshwar Kumar 4.75 (Betway), Siddarth Kaul 5.00 (Betway), Shakib Al Hasan 5.00 (Betway), Sandeep Sharma 5.50 (Betway).
Rashid against CSK’s batters is a key contest on Sunday and Chennai will know they have to negotiate his four overs with caution. We know to our cost that the favourites often falter in the shortest form of cricket so perhaps we shouldn’t pay too much attention to those head-to-head stats between these two.
However, we are siding with Chennai Super Kings due to that greater depth of batting while Sunrisers Hyderabad rely too much on Williamson and Dhawan, having weakened their top order when they left out Alex Hales. Rashid v Rayudu, Watson, Raina, Dhoni and the rest is the crucial battle but we expect Chennai to come through it.