Two sides who produces stunning victories in the midweek fixtures meet in what promises to be the best game of the weekend. Richard O'Hagan previews a fascinating contest...
"Despite a three game winning streak at home, Mumbai are second favourites at 2.47/5, with the rampant Bangalore side 1.618/13. Given the unpredictability of the Wankhede pitch, it makes sense to back local knowledge and therefore the home team, even at those prices."
Mumbai Indians v Royal Challengers Bangalore
Sunday May 10
Live on Sky Sports 2
Mumbai have had an erratic season, but they did win the away version of this fixture right back at the start of the season. Moreover, a run of five consecutive games without defeat, including Friday's thrilling victory in Chennai, have pulled them right into contention for this year's title.
Mumbai's strength appears to be that, whilst they do not have any stand out strengths in the way that Sunday's opponents do, they don't have any real weaknesses, either. Each part of the side, be it the batting unit or the bowling, plays their role and on that the side stands or falls. Players such as Parthiv Patel and Hardik Pandya would be regarded as erratic luxuries by other sides, but their role within the Indians' side - which is effectively to accelerate the run rate for as long as they can - works and enables other bigger names to play around them without having to chance their wickets.
Royal Challengers Bangalore
It is not so long since Bangalore were struggling in the bottom reaches of the IPL, but four wins from their last five completed games have propelled them to fifth place and a sniff of the playoffs. With just four games to go, though, they'll need to maintain that form in this, the first of a run of three away fixtures.
Wednesday's victory over Kings XI Punjab was extraordinary not only for the size of the win or Chris Gayle's brutal hundred, but for the bowling performance in which Mitchell Starc and Sreenath Aravind both picked up four wickets. There is a real sense that this squad is finally coming together and that they could once again be a real force in the competition going forward.
Venue and Conditions
The Wankhede Stadium has been a tricky one for both captains and tipsters to read this season. At times slow bowlers have done well, at others they have gone around the park. At times the wicket has played true and even nine an over hasn't been enough to win, but at others the boundary has been hard to find. With this being an afternoon game, there should be less help for the bowlers than usual, so anything under 175 is unlikely to be enough.
Despite a three game winning streak at home, Mumbai are second favourites at 2.47/5, with the rampant Bangalore side 1.618/13. Given the unpredictability of the Wankhede pitch, it makes sense to back local knowledge and therefore the home team, even at those prices.
Top Mumbai Batsman
Rohit Sharma is the sixth highest run scorer in this year's IPL, despite being a long way behind the likes of Gayle in the six hitting stakes. However, his opening partner, Lendl Simmonds, has also been showing some signs of form and played the anchor role to perfection in Friday's game. He will be better value at around 4.47/2.
Top Bangalore Batsman
Such has been Gayle's dominance of recent games that it is hard to recall that he was actually dropped earlier in the tournament. What it has also done, though, is to overshadow the positive and regular contributions made by Royal Challengers' captain Virat Kohli. His form has been more consistent than Gayle's when you look at the tournament as a whole, and on a difficult pitch he is a safer bet at odds of around 4.3100/30.
Back Virat Kohli to be top Bangalore batsman at odds of over 4.3100/30
Richard's IPL2015 P/L
Staked: 30 pts
Returned: 41.23 pts
+/-: +11.23 pts