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Mumbai Indians vs. Kolkata Knight Riders IPL 2015 best wagers

Rohit Sharma IPLMatch 51 – 8:00pm local time on Thursday, May 14, 2015 at Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai

Mumbai Indians – $1.90 at www.Bet365.com
Kolkata Knight Riders – $1.96 at Crownbet.com

We’re at the pointy end of the 2015 Indian Premier League now, with Mumbai Indians needing a win against high-flying Kolkata Knight Riders if they are to reach the playoffs for the fifth year running.

Ricky Ponting’s charges suffered a huge blow to their finals hopes on Sunday as AB de Villiers (133*) and Virat Kohli (82*) bludgeoned Royal Challengers Bangalore to a massive total of 235.

The best efforts of West Indian duo Lendl Simmons (68*) and Kieron Pollard (49) weren’t enough as Mumbai fell 39 runs short, thus ending a four-match winning streak and leaving them on the brink of an early holiday.

If RCB follow form and defeat last-placed Kings XI Punjab on Wednesday night, the Indians will almost certainly need two wins from their last two fixtures to have any chance of featuring in the knockout rounds.

The fact Mumbai are in the hunt at all is a remarkable achievement in itself, as they looked destined for the wooden spoon after losing their first four matches of IPL 2015.

The opening combination of Simmons and Parthiv Patel has been instrumental in that revival, and the former told the Indian press on Monday that he and his teammates were treating Thursday’s game like an early knockout tie.

“We can call it two finals for us. We have to do our basics right,” said Simmons, who might not have played this season but for Aaron Finch’s injured hamstring.

“I will look to do my part for the team, that is to get a good start and get them into a good position. At the top we need a good foundation and force the score to a position which will be comparative to win.”

If they are to scrape into the final four, Mumbai will have to better an in-form Kolkata Knight Riders outfit which is gunning for the top of the table.

The defending Indian Premier League champions appear to have finally shaken off the inconsistency that has plagued much of their campaign, with four victories from their last five games – including three wins from the past three fixtures.

They could hardly have timed their run better, as they now sit just one point behind first-placed Chennai Super Kings with two matches remaining in the league phase.

KKR’s last outing wasn’t exactly a picnic, though, as it took a match-turning 51 from Andre Russell to edge them past Kings XI in what was the very first one-wicket win in IPL T20 history.

But it was Russell’s fellow West Indian who grabbed most of the headlines in that nail-biter, as Sunil Narine – whose off-break action was banned by the BCCI in April – snared 4 for 19 in his second match back from a rehabilitative layoff.

That form leaves Trevor Bayliss and his coaching staff with something of a selection dilemma: do they pick Narine, or Brad Hogg, or stick with both specialist spinners?

Hogg has been one of the 2015 IPL’s star performers since stepping into the Kolkata lineup midway through the season, the 44-year-old Australian bagging nine wickets in six games at an impressive 6.85 economy rate.

As he, Narine and Johan Botha all take up space on the four-man overseas player allowance, there is a chance one could be sacrificed on Thursday to make way for the extra pace of Pat Cummins.

They might even recall Morne Morkel, who hasn’t featured since the loss to Sunrisers on April 22. It has been a conspicuous absence, too, as the South African quick was among the competition’s form bowlers with nine wickets in five games.

Possible team selections

Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma (C), Lendl Simmons, Parthiv Patel, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Ambati Rayudu, Harbhajan Singh, Jagadeesha Suchith, Mitchell McClenaghan, Vinay Kumar, Lasith Malinga

Kolkata Knight Riders: Gautam Gambhir (C), Robin Uthappa, Manish Pandey, Suryakumar Yadav, Yusuf Pathan, Andre Russell, Piyush Chawala, Pat Cummins, Sunil Narine, Brad Hogg, Umesh Yadav

Match predictions

Result – Mumbai Indians to win ($1.90 at Bet365.com)
Highest opening partnership – Mumbai Indians ($2.00 at Bet365)
Most match sixes – Mumbai Indians ($1.96 at CrownBet)

Both teams have heaps to play for: Mumbai want to keep their finals hopes alive, while KKR would love to leapfrog Super Kings into top spot. Guts.com and Bet365 are quoting dead-even prices, while CrownBet and Bovada.com have the Indians as slight favourites – so there is a bit of value to be had by comparing odds from a few different online bookmakers.

If you look at Mumbai’s history of sneaking into the IPL playoffs at the last gasp, as well as the super-consistent form of Simmons and Patel at the top of the order, the hosts are a solid choice in most of the T20 match betting markets. If you want the best IPL odds, however, the Knight Riders are paying very good money for a team sitting second with three wins in a row.

IPL betting odds for top team batsman

Indians – Lendl Simmons ($3.75 at www.Bodog.com)

The West Indian slogger has been outstanding all season, only twice failing to pass 15 runs in an innings. Scores of 68*, 38, 0, 71, 38 and 51 in his last five digs speak of a man in supreme touch. Kieron Pollard ($8.00 at Bet365) is a juicy alternative if you want some fatter odds down the order.

KKR – Andre Russell ($9.00 at Bet365.com)

Online sports books keep floating outsider prices on Russell, despite the fact he is Kolkata’s most devastating hitter. With 287 runs, three 50s and a strike rate of 197.93, the Jamaican all-rounder has performed everywhere in the order and will be the one Gambhir and Co. look to if the top three fail to fire on Thursday.

Best value bets for top team bowler

Indians – Lasith Malinga ($3.75 at Bet365)

Malinga is your prototype Twenty20 fast bowler, capable of threatening the stumps while remaining hard to get away. The Sri Lankan has taken at least one wicket in each of Mumbai’s last 10 matches, including no less than 10 victims in the previous five fixtures. Anything above $3.50 is excellent value when you consider Malinga’s main rival, McClenaghan, has suffered a sharp decline in wicket-taking form.

KKR – Sunil Narine ($4.00 at www.Bet365.com)

The controversial Trinidadian spinner took four wickets in the win over KXIP to reemerge as the Knight Riders’ main man with the ball in hand. His return has coincided with decreased output from Hogg (also $4.00 at Bet365), making Narine the standout option to top the KKR bowling ranks in the run to the finals.

More IPL Twenty20 matches this week

Friday, May 15
Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Royal Challengers Bangalore

Saturday, May 16
Kings XI Punjab vs Chennai Super Kings
Rajasthan Royals vs Kolkata Knight Riders

Sunday, May 17
Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Delhi Daredevils
Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Mumbai Indians

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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