The Sunrisers Hyderabad need a victory on Saturday against Gujarat Lions to book a play-off spot – they could not have picked a better opponent to do it.
Gujarat are already eliminated and they lost their ninth game of the series on Wednesday when Delhi Daredevils, who were also out, beat them in a close game. Understandably then, the Sunrisers are a fancy to take the spoils.
Paddy Power go 1.67 Sunrisers and although those odds appear prohibitively short, it is arguable that they should be shorter. There is a clear gulf in class here which Sunrisers should exploit. The Lions are 2.3 with BetVictor and other green listed bookmakers.
If after the toss Sunrisers get to go after a target, they are a stonking bet even if they contract a little more.
Lions have won four out of six matches while chasing, and have lost seven out of seven batting first. In all IPL, they have won 12 out of 16 matches while chasing, and only one out of 13 while batting first. It is an extraordinary record.
The Lions bowling is nothing short of pathetic. Against the Daredevils they had a huge 197 to defend. And they were well on course for victory when they reduced their opponents to 15 for two when their odds plummeted to 1.2.
But they still lost. They are utterly incapable of keeping things tight in the field. For some reason they insist on bowling Dwayne Smith, who is not actually a bowler, and he duly goes around the park – against Delhi it was for a game-changing 17.
And their best bowlers, Ravi Jadeja and James Faulkner, bowled third and fourth change which is just darn bizarre. Why are you leaving your best bowlers so late in the game? Jeez, it was if Gujarat wanted to make a game of things but then their skipper, Suresh Raina, has never been the sharpest tool in the shed.
Lions’ ability to do damage with the bat has also been reduced. They have lost Brendon McCullum to injury while England opener Jason Roy has said he will not be returning.
There are other markets we could take advantage of. David Warner, the top runscorer in the whole tournament, is available at 7 with Bet365 to be man of the match. Given the profligacy of the Lions bowling and his superb record for top-scoring, he should fill his boots and then be bang on for the gong.