Virat Kohli's RCB are on the verge of another humiliating failure in IPL and must win to stay alive. Paul Krishnamurty is confidently backing Sunrisers in expectation of the formbook standing up...
"Sunrisers are the better side, rock-solid at home. They have a crack bowling unit that knows how to restrict teams at their low-scoring ground, whereas Bangalore have the tamest attack in the competition."
Back Sunrisers Hyderabad 6u @ [1.92]
Monday, 15:30 BST
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Top of the IPL table with a game in hand, Sunrisers are easing towards the play-offs, needing just one win from five matches. As usual, their bowlers are turning the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium into something of a fortress, enabling four wins from five, with the reverse coming at the hands of co-leaders CSK.
The latest was classic Sunrisers. In trouble midway through the first innings, Rashid Khan led the recovery, restricting Delhi to 163 - a decent score by Hyderabad standards that was duly chased down with a solid collective effort. For their other home wins, Kane Williamson's men restricted the opposition to 147, 125 and 119.
Royal Challengers Bangalore
The pre-tournament favourites could barely have been more disappointing so far and are tied to the foot of the table. To reach the play-offs, they must win all of their last five matches.
For inspiration, they might look to fellow big-guns Mumbai, for whom identical pressure has sparked two wins and counting. There were very few positives to take from their latest defeat, though, scoring just 127-9 in a heavy defeat to Chennai, for whom only Parthiv Patel and Tim Southee reached double figures.
Don't bank on another run-fest between this pair
The last four matches between these sides were all very high-scoring, yielding 1st Innings Runs totals of 207, 208, 194 and 227. As noted above, recent results at this ground very much suggest the opposite. In the two previous seasons here, two thirds of first innings totals were below 150.
On Friday, I discussed the potential for backing low totals at big odds and laid out a cheap staking plan laying the 120 to 140 plus bands. If applied to the five matches since, the profit from the CSK/RCB game would have slightly more than covered the losers. The odds projections were more or less accurate but run lines will surely be set lower here.
Nevertheless, it is still worth backing 'Unders', especially if Bangalore bat first. 150 or more will be short odds-on but more teams than not seem to fail to reach that target against this attack on this ground.
It is hard to recall a league situation in any sport where top versus bottom is rated a roughly even contest but this is RCB - the most consistently over-rated team in sports betting. There is no logic to it. Sunrisers are the better side, rock-solid at home. They have a crack bowling unit that knows how to restrict teams at their low-scoring ground, whereas Bangalore have the tamest attack in the competition. Irrespective of the toss lottery, [1.92] about the hosts represents outstanding value.
Alex Hales top-scored for Sunrisers last time and is 11/4 to do so again, just behind fellow opener Shikhar Dhawan at 13/5. At bigger odds, the reliable Manish Pandey looks a fair bet at 11/2.
The top Bangalore scorer market is invariably dominated by Virat Kohli and AB De Villiers. Coming off a failure and knowing nothing less than a win will do, I fancy the skipper to just favouritism at odds of 21/10.
Follow Paul on Twitter @paulmotty
IPL 2018 Profit/Loss:
1st Innings Runs (If Bangalore bat first)