Royal Challengers Bangalore
$1.57 at www.Bet365.com
League finish: 2nd
IPL form: W W W W W
$2.43 at Sportsbet.com.au
League finish: 3rd
IPL form: W L L W W
Two teams remain, but only one can be crowned 2016 Indian Premier League champions.
Royal Challengers Bangalore are the unsurprising short-priced favourites, and for three very compelling reasons.
First, they have won seven of their last eight matches, including five on the bounce heading into Sunday’s decider.
Second, the IPL final will be played at Bengaluru’s Chinnaswamy Stadium – home of perhaps the fiercest local support in Twenty20 cricket.
And third, they have Virat Kohli.
India’s superstar batsman has smashed the all-time IPL batting records this season, racking up four 100s and six 50s at an average of 83.54 runs per innings.
It took him only 12 bats to pass Chris Gayle and Michael Hussey’s shared benchmark of 733 runs in a season, and another big knock on Sunday could see him soar into quadruple figures.
Yet, as incredible as it sounds, RCB aren’t a one-man operation.
If Kohli misfires, they’ve still got Gayle; if he fails, AB de Villiers steps up; and if the top three all strike out, there’s still the prodigious talents of Lokesh Rahul and the all-round expertise of Shane Watson.
That’s to say nothing of a bowling unit that has coped marvellously well without Mitchell Starc this season, with Watson and Yuzvendra Chahal each taking 20 wickets.
While Sunrisers Hyderabad’s repertoire isn’t quite as impressive on paper, their opening act is as good as anybody’s.
An unbeaten 93 from the imperious David Warner was the difference in Friday’s qualifier as Hyderabad chased down 162 to end Gujarat Lions’ dream debut.
The question is whether the supporting cast of Shikhar Dhawan, Moises Henriques, Yuvraj Singh and Deepak Hooda are a match for their counterparts on the RCB roster.
In Bhuvneshwar Kumar the first-finalists boast the most effective seamer in the competition, while Ben Cutting has proved a valuable addition late in the season.
For them, the mission simple: stop Kohli, Gayle and de Villiers, or suffer the consequences.
AB de Villiers betting odds
With all the fuss around Kohli, it’s been far too easy to overlook AB’s achievements this season.
The South African star has notched 682 runs with six 50s and a century, all at a whopping 170.07 strike rate.
Only four men have scored more runs in a single IPL season, and three of them will be playing on Sunday.
But it was de Villiers who delivered in the qualifier against Gujarat, blasting 79 off 47 balls after both Kohli (0) and Gayle (9) went cheaply.
If he gets properly stuck in, Sunrisers won’t get him out.
Man of the match – $6 (Bet365)
Top RCB batsman – $3.75 (Sportsbet)
To outscore Kohli – $2.20 (Bet365)
Over/under 33 points – $1.90 (Bet365)
Best David Warner bets
In any other year it would be the Sunrisers captain who was rewriting the record books.
Only Kohli has scored more runs in the 2016 IPL than Warner’s 779 – the second-highest season tally in the tournament’s history.
But while Virat has had some world-class support, DW has often had to drag Hyderabad to victory without a lot of help.
That was never more evident than on Friday, when four of Sunrisers’ top six were dismissed for single digits while Warner carried both his bat and his team into the final.
Whether or not Hyderabad claim a maiden IPL title this weekend, it’s their skipper’s dauntless will and inspiring leadership that got them there.
Man of the match – $6.50 (Bet365)
Top Sunrisers batsman – $2.80 (Luxbet)
To outscore Kohli – $2.20 (Bet365)
Over/under 32 points – $1.90 (Bet365)
Last Royal Challengers Bangalore XI
- Virat Kohli (captain)
- Chris Gayle
- AB de Villiers
- Lokesh Rahul
- Shane Watson
- Sachin Baby
- Stuart Binny
- Iqbal Abdulla
- Chris Jordan
- Sreenath Aravind
- Yuzvendra Chahal
Last Sunrisers Hyderabad XI
- David Warner (captain)
- Shikhar Dhawan
- Moises Henriques
- Yuvraj Singh
- Deepak Hooda
- Ben Cutting
- Naman Ojha
- Bipul Sharma
- Bhuvneshwar Kumar
- Barinder Sran
- Trent Boult
More 2016 IPL betting markets
Highest opening partnership
Royal Challengers Bangalore – $1.90 (Bet365)
Sunrisers Hyderabad – $1.99 (Sportsbet)
Most match sixes
Royal Challengers Bangalore – $1.66 (Bet365)
Sunrisers Hyderabad – $2.70 (Luxbet)
Highest first six overs
Royal Challengers Bangalore – $1.80 (Bet365)
Sunrisers Hyderabad – $2 (Bet365)
Team of top batsman
Royal Challengers Bangalore – $1.57 (Sportsbet)
Sunrisers Hyderabad – $2.20 (Sportsbet)
100 to be scored?
Yes – $4.50 (Bet365)
No – $1.20 (Bet365)
50 to be scored?
Yes – $1.11 (Bet365)
No – $6.50 (Bet365)
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