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IPL: Kolkata Knight Riders vs. Chennai Super Kings highest run scorer betting

Brendon McCallumWho: Kolkata Knight Riders ($2.38 at CrownBet) vs. Chennai Super Kings ($1.58 at Guts.com)
What: Match 30, IPL
Where: Eden Gardens, Kolkata
When: 8pm local time

Thursday night’s Indian Premier League fixture shapes up as a belter as Kolkata Knight Riders and Chennai Super Kings face-off for the second time this week.

It was the latter who triumphed in the first half of this mega double-header on Tuesday, with Dwayne Bravo (3 for 22) and Ravichandran Ashwin (2 for 5) bowling CSK to victory in a low-scoring affair at Chepauk.

That thrilling two-run triumph put Chennai top of the IPL table, although that will change on Wednesday if Rajasthan Royals successfully avenge their recent mauling at the hands of Royal Challengers Bangalore.

The Super Kings have lived up to their name with some truly regal form in the early part of the season, notching six wins from seven outings.

They have stars in every department. Online bookmaker Bet365.com has openers Dwayne Smith ($12.00) and Brendon McCullum ($13.00) as juicy contenders to top the 2015 IPL batting stats, while Bravo ($6.00) and the rejuvenated Ashish Nehra ($5.50) are among the hot favourites for most tournament wickets.

And with the likes of Suresh Raina, Faf du Plessis and Mahendra Singh Dhoni rounding out the batting, there isn’t even room for Michael Hussey in this extremely talented Chennai lineup.

Such an obvious abundance of ability may come back to haunt the Knight Riders, who will feel they threw away two gift-wrapped points in the reverse fixture.

Having kept CSK to a measly 134, Kolkata were cruising before some self-destructive batting led to a monumental collapse which saw the last five batsmen add just six runs between them.

Although he finished on 38 not out, there must be pressure on Ryan ten Doeschate’s place after some questionable decision-making left the tail with too much to do in the final overs.

Most frustrating of all was KKR’s failure to capitalise on an excellent bowling performance without either Sunil Narine or Morne Morkel, who were the surprise exclusions as Australian duo Pat Cummins and Brad Hogg made their first starts of the season.

And while they are presently sitting third in the IPL standings, another loss would leave Knight Riders seven points adrift of Chennai and in serious danger of losing their foothold in the top four.

The upside for the 2014 title winners is that they won’t have to deal with the crafty Ravi Ashwin this time around, as the spinner will sit out with a hand injury suffered in Tuesday’s clash.

“Ashwin has a split in his middle finger,” Super Kings team manager Russell Radhakrishnan told the press.

“We do not know how many stitches he will require… he has been taken to the hospital. The team has decided not to take Ashwin for the next two matches.”

Possible team selections

Kolkata Knight Riders: Gautam Gambhir (C), Robin Uthappa, Manish Pandey, Suryakumar Yadav, Yusuf Pathan, Ryan ten Doeschate, Andre Russell, Piyush Chawla, Umesh Yadav, Morne Morkel, Brad Hogg

Chennai Super Kings: MS Dhoni (C), Brendon McCullum, Dwayne Smith, Suresh Raina, Faf du Plessis, Dwayne Bravo, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohit Sharma, Ishwar Pandey, Rahul Sharma, Ashish Nehra

Match predictions & where to bet on IPL

Result – Chennai Super Kings to win ($1.58 at Guts)
Highest opening partnership – Chennai Super Kings ($1.86 at CrownBet.com)
Most match sixes – Chennai Super Kings ($1.66 at Bet365)

CSK haven’t flirted with defeat too often this season, and don’t expect them to give KKR another golden opportunity here. There’s too much talent for the Chennai batting order to fail again, and you have to question whether KKR have the bowling depth to back up what was an excellent containment effort last time out. Super Kings to win.

IPL T20 betting for top batsman

KKR – Robin Uthappa ($3.75 at Bet365.com)

The Kolkata wicketkeeper was good value for his 39 earlier in the week, taking a particular liking to the usually tricky M Sharma. Having played second fiddle to Gambhir thus far, 2014’s top runscorer looks ready to take the first seat once more.

CSK – Dwayne Smith ($4.00 at CrownBet)

You could toss a coin between Smith and McCullum, so we went with the West Indian’s slightly better odds. Though he has only one 50 so far in IPL 2015, he’s been the more consistent of the two and could be due to really convert on his solid starts.

Best IPL odds for top bowler

KKR – Morne Morkel ($3.60 at Bet365)

We’re not entirely sure if Morkel has a fitness issue, but he is undoubtedly the Knight Riders’ best bowler right now. If he plays, back him in; if not, Hogg ($4.50) might be a good value bet after his very tidy performance at Chepauk.

CSK – Ashish Nehra ($4.00 at Bet365)

The 36-year-old quick has taken his 13 IPL wickets in clumps of two, three, even four, making him a real danger in this market. He took a little bit of stick on Tuesday, but recent history says he’s likely to smash it next time out.

More 2015 Indian Premier League games this week

Friday, May 1
Delhi Daredevils ($2.20 at Bet365) vs Kings XI Punjab ($1.67 at CrownBet)
Mumbai Indians vs Rajasthan Royals

Saturday, May 2
Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Kolkata Knight Riders
Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Chennai Super Kings

Sunday, May 3
Kings XI Punjab vs Mumbai Indians
Rajasthan Royals vs Delhi Daredevils

All new customers at Bet 365 can access a free match bet on the IPL when they sign up – irrespective of your country

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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