It is the final day of the regular season in the Indian Premier League on Sunday with another double header of action to determine the makeup of the top four sides who will progress to the knockout stage of the event.
The first of the two games comes from Mohali where the Kings XI Punjab take on the Chennai Super Kings in a match where both sides will be playing for something, albeit in the Kings XI case it could be a forlorn hope.
Kings XI Punjab
The Kings XI Punjab looked to be cruising into the play-offs in the early part of the campaign after winning four of their opening six matches. We would be stretching the truth a little to say they were dominant in those games but they were winning and you can never argue against that, however they have won just two matches since then and need a landslide victory here to have any chance of making it into the top four.
The big issue that the Kings XI have had all season long, and something they have been unable to do anything about, has been their woeful death bowling. They have been fine when they have managed to take a plethora of wickets in the middle overs but if any kind of batsman is there at the death their bowling gets exposed far too easily. That is a huge concern for them moving forward.
Chennai Super Kings
The Super Kings make their way to Mohali knowing that it would take a pretty significant loss for their run rate to fall badly enough to leave them wondering about a place in the top two so in all likelihood they will be attending their own play-off party on Tuesday evening. A win here though would confirm top spot and send them into the knockout stages of their title defence in buoyant spirits.
This is the time in the season when the Chennai Super Kings historically produce their best cricket. As the pressure intensifies their output increases and we often see them powering through matches from here on in. This will be a good test for their bowling attack, which although it has been their strength so far in the tournament, does have a brittle nature to it if someone truly gets after it.
After a good showing last time out the Kings XI Punjab probably won’t want to change a whole lot here but Andrew Tye’s return was pretty minimal so it might be a return to Hardus Viljoen for this final game.
Chennai Super Kings are believed to have a doubt over MS Dhoni although he played in their last match. With Sam Billings having gone home the keeping options are thin on the ground in his absence so he should play.
I’ll go with a couple of bets in this match. The first of them is for the Kings XI Punjab to score the most sixes. Whatever happens here the Kings XI are going to have to swing from the hips and so the likes of Chris Gayle, Nicholas Pooran and Mayank Agarwal are going to have licence to go very hard here so I’m expecting a number of sixes from them. The uselessness of the Kings XI attack will probably mean some sixes go against them but this Chennai batting line up hasn’t fired on all cylinders this season. Even if they do here were Gayle and Pooran to get going early doors Kings XI can still hit the most sixes.
There is a question mark over whether MS Dhoni plays here but if he does he has to be overpriced at 11/2 to top score for the Chennai Super Kings. We have seen throughout the tournament how he comes in, gets himself in and then explodes at the back end and with nobody apart from the openers going well for Chennai it might be that he isn’t chasing a lot when he does get to the crease. Kings XI are pathetic at the death so if Dhoni is in and established by then he can power to the top score.
WON – Back Kings XI Punjab Most 6s for a 4/10 stake at 2.05 with Betway
Back MS.Dhoni Top Chennai Super Kings Batsman for a 1/10 stake at 6.50 with Betfair
Back him here: