The Indian Premier League season concludes on Sunday afternoon as we find the IPL 2018 champion at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. It will either be the Chennai Super Kings or the Sunrisers Hyderabad who meet for the fourth time this season.
The Super Kings have won the three previous meetings between these two franchises so Sunrisers will be hoping it is fourth time lucky for them. The top two teams in the regular season meet in what should be a fantastic final.
Chennai Super Kings
The longer the tournament has gone on the better the Chennai Super Kings have looked but there is something about this ground where they seem to lead a charmed life this term. They opened the tournament here back at the beginning of the competition and although they won they looked dead and buried at one point and the same can be said of the qualifier here on Tuesday.
I guess that shows that a match is never truly dead on this ground but you wonder how many times they can go to the well and come up with the gold. One reason why they might be able to do it again is the experience they have in their line up which means they are unlikely to panic should they get themselves into a tough situation again.
It might be that losing the first qualifier was no bad thing for the Sunrisers Hyderabad. It will have tested them mentally to go away and play in a knockout match and the fact that they won it after a succession of losses says a lot about them. That should have sorted out their confidence and they can give this final a good go.
The important thing for the Sunrisers is they defended a score in Kolkata. That was their strength in the first part of the season but they had been struggling to do that recently. They also batted well right the way down their order in that match so they should be going into this final in form and full of belief which is never a bad combination.
Chennai Super Kings have had five days to prepare for this final and it would be a surprise if they are not unchanged for it. If they did want to make a chance Sam Billings could return but after Faf du Plessis’ knock last time out that is unlikely.
It would seem strange for the Sunrisers Hyderabad to make any changes after finding a combination that worked in the previous match but they might go for the big match experience of Sandeep Sharma despite him getting carted here on Tuesday.
Chennai Super Kings have won three from three against the Sunrisers Hyderabad this term but I fancy we will see a bit of a change here. Really the Sunrisers should have won the last meeting between these two and with a bit of extra belief after picking up a win last time out I fancy they can win this final.
Chennai have rescued themselves from a number of daunting situations in this tournament but it will be interesting to see if they can do it in a knockout match with everything on the line. We know Sunrisers can having seen them win a knockout game on Friday and as long as all the travelling hasn’t taken its toll, and I would imagine adrenalin will take over even if it has, I’m with the Sunrisers here.
I’ll have a little dabble on Carlos Brathwaite to be the man of the match in the final. We saw on Tuesday that this ground is not big enough for him and he could be called upon to bowl in some crucial circumstances with the ball. He is athletic enough to be a game changer in the field so 18/1 on him being the leading light in the final looks a shade high.
Back Sunrisers Hyderabad to beat Chennai Super Kings for a 4/10 stake at 2.10 with Ladbrokes
Back C.Brathwaite Man of the Match for a 1/10 stake at 19.00 with Boylesports
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