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Chennai vs. Bangalore IPL qualifier betting and best tips

2015 IPL
Qualifier 2 – 8:00pm local time on Friday, May 22, 2015 at JSCA Stadium, Ranchi

Chennai Super Kings – $2.00 at www.Bet365.com
Royal Challengers Bangalore – $1.91 at Bovada.com

Can the Chennai Super Kings shake their recent playoff wobbles and continue their quest for a third IPL crown, or will the in-form Royal Challengers Bangalore blast their way to a first final appearance since 2011?

That’s the question punters must answer ahead of the penultimate match of what has been a cracking 2015 Indian Premier League season.

The head-to-head betting margins are extremely tight on this one, but most IPL sportsbooks have Bangalore as slender favourites to set up a date with Mumbai Indians in the decider at Eden Gardens.

And we mean very slender favourites. While many online bookmakers are offering $1.80 or less on RCB to win, Bodog.com has them at $1.91 match odds – dead level with the Super Kings.

On form alone, Daniel Vettori’s men should have the edge. They obliterated Rajasthan Royals in the elimination game on Tuesday night, with devastating half-centuries from AB de Villiers (66) and Mandeep Singh (54) setting up a 71-run victory.

However, for all the obvious power of a batting lineup which also includes Virat Kohli and Chris Gayle, it was Bangalore’s bowling performance in Pune that summed up why they are such a threat at this stage of the tournament.

Australian spearhead Mitchell Starc (1/22) was the only one of RCB’s five-man attack not to snare two wickets, with Harshal Patel (2/15), David Weise (2/32), Yuzvendra Chahal and Sreenath Aravind (both 2/20) all proving why this has come to be the most feared bowling unit in the IPL.

It’s a very welcome improvement for the Bengaluru franchise, which is still searching for its maiden Indian Premier League title after seven years of near misses and extended bouts of mediocrity.

But with only one defeat in their last six fixtures, the mood in the Royal Challengers camp is one of cautious optimism ahead of Friday’s trip to Ranchi.

Fresh off his starring role against the Royals, de Villiers said to iplt20.com: “It is going to be a very difficult match.

“We know that CSK are a very good and tough team to beat. We would love to go to Ranchi and beat them.

“It would be amazing if we can then go a step further and win the trophy. Right now we have to take it step by step.”

Bangalore are right to be wary of Chennai, having suffered heavy defeats in both home-and-away meetings during the league phase.

But while the Super Kings may have finished atop the IPL standings after 14 rounds, they come into the last weekend of the campaign with very little form to speak of.

After falling 25 runs short against a rampaging Mumbai Indians outfit in the first qualifier, the two-time champions have now lost five of their last eight games.

A lesser side would surely have blown right out in the IPL T20 match betting, but sheer weight of star quality sees CSK hanging in there with best odds of $2.00 at Bet365.

While Brendon McCullum’s departure for international duty is a huge blow, a top five of Michael Hussey, Dwayne Smith, Suresh Raina, Faf du Plessis and Mahendra Singh Dhoni boasts the kind of pedigree and depth that most teams could only dream of.

Throw in the all-round ability of Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin and especially Dwayne Bravo – the leading wicket-taker in IPL 2015 – and there should be enough runs there to see off any opponent.

There’s no substitute for touch, however, and the Chennai batsmen don’t have all that much of it right now – especially without McCullum, who leads their runscoring charts.

CSK coach Stephen Fleming cited fatigue as a major factor after the defeat to Mumbai, admitting that his charges faced an uphill task to maintain their energy levels down the home stretch.

“The teams are getting pretty tired at this stage of the tournament and a couple of days’ rest certainly helps,” the former New Zealand captain told the Indian press on Tuesday night.

“We are not afforded that luxury now and Mumbai will turn up for the final in pretty good shape.”

But Fleming added that Chennai would be eager to take maximum advantage of their double chance on Friday, especially with Dhoni, the CSK captain, returning to his old stomping ground.

“We are disappointed at not having got the job done here [in Mumbai] but at the same time we have a chance to rectify it at Ranchi,” he said.

“It’s the skipper’s home town and we relish playing there.”

Possible team selections

Chennai Super Kings: MS Dhoni (C), Michael Hussey, Dwayne Smith, Suresh Raina, Faf du Plessis, Dwayne Bravo, Ravindra Jadeja, Pawan Negi, Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohit Sharma, Ashish Nehra

Royal Challengers Bangalore: Virat Kohli (C), Chris Gayle, AB de Villiers, Mandeep Singh, Dinesh Karthik, Sarfaraz Khan, Harshal Patel, David Weise, Mitchell Starc, Yuzvendra Jadeja, Sreenath Aravind

Match predictions

Result – Royal Challengers Bangalore to win ($1.91 at www.Bovada.com)
Highest opening partnership – Royal Challengers Bangalore ($1.80 at Bodog)
Most run outs – Royal Challengers Bangalore ($3.30 at Bet365.com)

While there is a certain romance in backing Dhoni to lead the Super Kings to victory on his Ranchi homecoming, it’s difficult to ignore Chennai’s very average form. Bangalore, meanwhile, are in superb touch with both bat and ball, boasting two of the competition’s highest wicket-takers and three of the top six runscorers. They do, however, have a propensity for running each other out, so there is a potential value bet to be had there.

Best T20 odds for top batsman

Chennai Super Kings – Michael Hussey ($5.00 at Bodog.com)

With Smith notching three ducks in his last seven knocks, it may fall to the veteran Aussie to kickstart the CSK innings in what could be his last IPL appearance. He only has two matches under his belt in 2015, but we all know what Mr. Cricket can do if he gets a bit of time at the crease.

Royal Challengers Bangalore – Mandeep Singh ($7.00 at Bovada)

The world-class performances of Kohli, Gayle and de Villiers in the RCB top order have starved Mandeep of opportunities this season. The 23-year-old has often delivered when required, however, as witnessed on Wednesday night against Rajasthan when he led the charge with a beautifully crafted 54 not out.

IPL top bowler value bets

Chennai Super Kings – Ashish Nehra ($4.33 at Bet 365)

It’s been a true Indian summer for Nehra, who sits fifth in the 2015 IPL bowler rankings with 19 wickets and a very impressive 7.03 economy rate. The 36-year-old paceman has really enjoyed facing RCB this year, with match figures of 4/10 in Bangalore and 3/19 in the return fixture at the Chepauk. Can he strike again in Ranchi?

Royal Challengers Bangalore – Sreenath Aravind ($5.00 at Bet365.com)

In just four games, this guy has helped turn Royal Challengers from dangerous also-rans into genuine title contenders. Since stepping into the side earlier this month, the versatile left-armer has taken seven IPL wickets at a strike rate of 12.0 – a better hit frequency than both Starc and Chahal.

Next Indian Premier League playoff fixture

Final – Sunday, May 24
Mumbai Indians vs Winner of Qualifier 2

This article was written by Jess

Jess is the editor of MobileSportsBetting.com. His job duties include everything nobody else is doing, and making sure it all gets done on time. When he gets a chance, Jess loves to write about NFL, MLB, Formula 1, and tennis betting.


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