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IPL Trader’s Tips: Who’ll secure the final playoff spot?

Daniel Anwar | 3 May 2019

Preview for this weekend’s IPL action

It’s the final weekend of the IPL regular season, with one playoff place still up for grabs.

Chennai Super Kings, Mumbai Indians and Delhi Capitals have wrapped up the top three spots, with four teams in contention for fourth ahead of this afternoon’s clash between Kings XI Punjab and Kolkata Knight Riders. Both sides need a win to keep their playoff hopes alive.

Ahead of a pivotal few days, we spoke to our cricket trader Andrew Harriott about what to expect…

Coral News: We’re in for a huge game between Punjab and Kolkata this afternoon. Neither side is in good form, so could Andre Russell’s big hitting make the difference?

Andrew Harriott: Kolkata finally moved Andre Russell up the order to bat at 3 after wasting the form batsman of the tournament far too low in a couple of defeats this season. He is the key player for Kolkata and the most likely matchwinner. He’s 5/1 favourite to be Man of the Match for a reason!

CN: Sunrisers Hyderabad’s run-rate gives them the advantage in the race for the final play-off spot. Do you think they’ll hold on to it?

AH: Hyderabad’s run rate will get them to the playoffs if they win their final game, as it looks unassailable.

However, although Royal Challengers Bangalore are out they have been playing a lot better in the latter stages. Both sides are 10/11 in the match betting.

CN: Chennai smashed Mumbai on Thursday and are shaping up very nicely for the playoffs. How impressed have you been with the league leaders this term?

MS Dhoni

AH: CSK have been excellent at home. They have made some very slow starts in their innings, but have been able to catch up late on, and their spin attack combined with MS Dhoni’s captaincy makes them very hard to beat on slower tracks.

CN: Who do you think have been the standout individuals of the regular season?

AH: Andre Russell and David Warner have been the standout performers, with Dre Russ’s runs and strike rate truly jaw dropping.

Kagiso Rabada has bowled very well, but I like Mumbai’s chances going into the playoffs. Hardik Pandya’s return to form with the bat has been huge to the balance of their side, and great news for India going into the World Cup as 3/1 second-favourites too.

CN: What markets have caught your eye ahead of this weekend’s games?

AH: RCB at home to Hyderabad on Saturday is intriguing. I wouldn’t be surprised if RCB cause a surprise.

The result of that game will determine whether Sunday’s final group games have anything riding on them. Mumbai at home to Kolkata has the two teams who hit the most Sixes playing at the Six-hitting Wankhede stadium. Total Sixes in that game will be very, very high.

CN: Looking ahead to the playoffs, Chennai are 6/4 favourites to claim a fourth IPL title. Do you think they’ll go all the way?

AH: There’s always a chance of an upset in T20 cricket. However, the playoff format rewards the top two teams in the league, who get two bites at the cherry to qualify for the final.

That’s why Chennai are now clear favourites, having all but booked their spot in the top two. I think Mumbai will join them, and I think they can beat Chennai away from their home ground, and this year the final will be in Hyderabad.

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