Fast-rising Bangalore bring their star-studded batting lineup to bottom side Kings XI Punjab. Richard O'Hagan looks for the value bets in what should be a comfortable away win...
"Given the two sides’ recent form, it would be folly to back against the 1.4840/85 Royal Challengers, even with Kings XI at 2.982/1."
Kings XI Punjab v Royal Challengers Bangalore
Wednesday May 13
Live on Sky Sports 2
Kings XI Punjab
Kings XI's season is well and truly over and, frankly, they have been playing like it. Another match in which they were woefully uncompetitive on Monday means that they are now assured of a bottom two finish, with defeat today almost guaranteeing them the wooden spoon due to their dreadful net run rate.
It has been a hugely disappointing season for George Bailey's side, with star players such as Glenn Maxwell and David Miller never quite finding a consistent vein of form. Miller's late blitz on Monday once the game was pretty well beyond Punjab was a case of too little, too late and a win today would be the same.
Royal Challengers Bangalore
Bangalore's late run to the playoffs continued apace with a thumping victory over Mumbai at the Wankhede on Sunday. Having played a game less than everyone else it isn't beyond the realms of possibility that they could finish second, whilst their playoff spot will be guaranteed if they win today and against Hyderabad on Friday.
After a couple of matches in which Chris Gayle was the star, it was AB de Villiers' turn to make a hundred on Monday, whilst skipper Virat Kohli chipped in with an unbeaten 89. The batting performances tend to overshadow the bowling, where Mitchell Starc has been outstanding and where it is no coincidence that their recent run of form has coincided with the return from injury of legspinner Yuzvendra Chahal.
Venue and Conditions
This will only be the second game played at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium in Chandigarh and the first since the end of last month. That game saw a fairly even contest between bat and ball, but this doesn't promise to be a high scoring game if the hosts bat first.
Given the two sides' recent form, it would be folly to back against the 1.4840/85 Royal Challengers, even with Kings XI at 2.982/1.
Top Punjab Batsman
Maxwell and Miller will always be the favourites in this market for Kings XI, but the truth is that they fail as often as they succeed. One of the more consistent performers with the bat has been wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha, long anointed as the heir-apparent to MS Dhoni at international level and a reliable bet at anything over 4.57/2.
Top Bangalore Batsman
The embarrassment of riches at the top of the Bangalore batting order, coupled with the paucity of the Punjab bowling attack, means that it makes sense to go with one of those three even if the odds are short, as no-one else is likely to get much of a chance to make a score in this game. You can pretty well take your pick of Gayle, de Villiers or Kohli, although the latter is likely to be the better priced at around 4.3100/30.
Back Wriddhiman Saha to be top Kings XI Punjab batsman at odds of over 4.57/2
Richard's IPL2015 P/L
Staked: 33 pts
Returned: 45.63 pts
+/-: +12.63 pts