It is the final game of the group stage of IPL 2017 and while neither of the participants have anything to play for, that doesn't mean that there aren't good betting options available, as Richard O'Hagan points out.
"This is a ground where the target score seems to have increased with every game, with the wicket getting easier to bat on with time. The side batting first would now really need at least 190 to be safe, whereas at the start of April that figure was more like 170."
Delhi Daredevils v Royal Challengers Bangalore
Sunday May 14, 15.30 BST
Live on Sky Sports
An inconsistent season means that Delhi will finish just outside of the playoff places this year. Indeed, had they played as well in their early games as they have done in some of their recent ones, their season would be continuing for another week.
Their problem going into this game is that they are down to the bare bones of their squad. Indeed, with injuries and contracts ending, they may not be able to field their full quota of four overseas players (they fielded only three against Pune on Friday). There's no penalty for failing to do so, but it means that some local players who haven't played much this season will have to step up.
On the positive side, there have been some good batting performances. Rishabh Pant and Shreyas Iyer have both made scores in the 90s since the start of the month, whilst Sanju Samson has become the prized wicket at the top of the order and Karun Nair has been difficult to dislodge for the past couple of games. If one of those four fires in this game Bangalore will have a very difficult time indeed.
Royal Challengers Bangalore
Even a win today cannot save Bangalore from the ignominy of finishing bottom of the IPL points table. Their playoff chances were long gone, and just two wins from 13 games is a paltry return for team so studded with talent.
Just where it went wrong for RCB is something of a mystery. There has been some criticism of them for top-loading the roster with batting talent, but they're far from the only franchise to do this and few could resist the chance to play Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers in the same side.
A bigger issue has been injuries, and especially the ones that have sidelined their overseas quick bowlers, Tymal Mills and New Zealander Adam Milne, for much of the competition. With neither likely to return for this game the onus will once again be on the local bowlers, although Shane Watson could get a game in place of de Villiers.
Venue and Conditions
Delhi's home record isn't that great on paper, but closer examination reveals that, apart from one hideously botched run chase against Mumbai, they've been competitive in every game, including a mammoth run chase to beat Gujarat. This is a ground where the target score seems to have increased with every game, with the wicket getting easier to bat on with time. The side batting first would now really need at least 190 to be safe, whereas at the start of April that figure was more like 170.
Bangalore will be well aware that one of their two wins this season came against Delhi, so they will be looking to do the double here. They've had the best part of a week off to prepare for this game, whereas Delhi have had just 48 hours. The market has both teams at [1.9], reflecting how close this game is to call.
Delhi's problem this season has been inconsistency, with batsmen who score highly in one game rarely going on to make a big total next time out. That suggests against backing Iyer this time around and instead looking to one of the other two in-form batsmen, Pant and Samson. We favour the latter of the two, as he's an opening batsman playing against a depleted bowling attack. Back him at odds of around [4.2].
No Bangalore batsman has really covered themselves with glory in this year's competition. Of their big names, only Gayle has made a really big score so far, while all have been disappointing in comparison to the amounts paid for them. Youngster Mandeep Singh has prospered since being promoted to open the innings, with scores of 46 and 52, so steer clear of the well-knows players with their low prices and instead back him at around [5.5].
Richard's IPL P/L