Chennai Super Kings v Sunrisers Hyderabad: Expect another low-scoring game in Chennai

Cricketer Yusuf Pathan
Yusuf Pathan's forte is six-hitting at the death

Paul Krishnamurty is predicting low scores again in Chennai, where Sunrisers are looking to repeat last week's thrashing of table-topping CSK...

"Most Sixes could easily be won with three maximums or even two, perhaps in the final over by one of the later batsmen...Yusuf Pathan is made for this market."


Back Yusuf Pathan to hit most sixes @ 16/1

Chennai Super Kings v Sunrisers Hyderabad
Tuesday, 15:30 GMT
Live on BT Sport and Star Gold (Sky Channel 729)

Chennai no longer clear at the top

The defending champions' relentless march to the play-offs has stalled with two straight defeats, including a thrashing away to Sunrisers last week. They are no longer certain of a top-two spot and still require one win from four to qualify.

They came within a couple of runs of that target on Sunday when going down to RCB, despite a remarkable effort from M.S. Dhoni. That 84 not out takes him to 314 runs, more than a hundred ahead of the next best for CSK, batting at six.

It doesn't bode all that well that they've been so reliant upon a number six - rather like KKR and Andre Russell. However in Chennai's case, success is primarily due to a potent and economical bowling unit, led by Imran Tahir and Deepak Chahar. Death overs master Dwayne Bravo is back now too.

Prolific Sunrisers openers can chase anything

Sunrisers have momentum after two resounding wins, both delivered in trademark style. Bowl first, restrict, chase down with ease.

First today's opponents were contained to just 132. Then KKR to 159, having looked set for 200 after conceding 42 off the first 15 balls. Jonny Bairstow and David Warner are now up to an astonishing 962 runs combined and look capable of chasing anything.

Today's match is fundamental for their season. A win would put them within two points off top spot, retaining a game in hand on Chennai. Lose and they are far from sure to qualify. Their title odds of 6.25/1 should move significantly one way or the other.

Bowlers likely to dominate

The most recent first innings total at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium was just 108. Obviously an outlier but the pitch was very slow and Chennai's spin trio extremely hard to get away. By my estimate, 140 would have been competitive.

This season's other three scores were 70, 175 and 160. The two high scores involved brilliant finishes. On that evidence, I'll be happy to lay 150 and 160 plus 1st Innings Runs bands at 1.351/3 and 1.68/13 either pre-match or in-play.

Post-toss betting could overestimate chasers

Pre-match, Chennai are rated 1.834/5 favourites compared to 2.15 for Sunrisers. All things being equal I prefer the visitors at those odds. They have momentum and their batsmen are capable of defying even the slowest of wickets.

However it is worth waiting for the toss. Counting the 2015 season to create a bigger sample, eight of the last 12 matches at this ground were won by the team batting first. Considering two of the successful chases were merely 71 and 109, that seems a notable advantage.

The market, however, rarely sees it that way. Nearly all toss winners prefer to chase nowadays and their odds duly shorten. If that happens here, my advice is to back whoever bats first at likely inflated odds.

A trio of CSK outsiders for top bat

Dhoni is 9/2 to top-score again for Chennai, behind 11/4 favourite Shane Watson. However if he can repeatedly rescue the side from number six, why not those one or two places lower, at huge odds?

A low-scoring match is ideal for backing outsiders in this market. Let's try three at combined odds of at least 12.011/1 depending how many of them play - Ravi Jadeja, Mitchell Santner and Dwayne Bravo.

Warner edges Bairstow for favouritism

Such a case is harder to make in Sunrisers' case, due to the dominance of their openers. Warner and Bairstow are 23/10 and 12/5 respectively - short but correct.

A trio of picks to hit most sixes

With low scores expected, this is an opportune moment to try the Most Sixes market. This could easily be won with three maximums or even two, perhaps in the final over by one of the later batsmen.

Let's try this trio. Kedar Jadhav has a similar T20 strike rate to Dhoni over their careers. At the same odds for Sunrisers, Yusuf Pathan is made for this market. Finally, whilst he has yet to do it this season with the bat, Rashid Khan's career strike rate is 152.


Follow Paul on Twitter @paulmotty


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