IPL final: Kohli and Bangalore all-stars to smash past Hyderabad for maiden title
Sam Barnard, Assistant Sports Editor | May 28, 2016
Royal Challengers Bangalore v Sunrisers Hyderabad
- 2016 IPL final
- Sunday, May 29th
- Play starts: 15:30 BST
- M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore
- Live on Sky Sports 1
Bangalore to make it third time lucky
Royal Challengers Bangalore go into the 2016 IPL final in a fine run of form, after a slow start to the season, and are the firm odds-on 4/7 favourites with Coral to beat Sunrisers Hyderabad (11/8).
The two teams finished second and third in the regular season table on 16 points each, and both beat the other when playing at home.
Crucially, however, the final is being staged at Bangalore’s M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, which is where they claimed a 45-run win over Hyderabad in their opening match of the season.
Neither side has claimed the IPL title since the league’s inception in 2008, although the Sunrisers were only established in 2013, and the Royal Challengers will be hoping to make it third time lucky after finishing runners-up in 2009 and 2011.
Bangalore’s batting line-up too strong for Hyderabad
With the likes of Virat Kohli, South Africa star AB de Villiers and West Indies heavyweight Chris Gayle – arguably the best batsmen in Twenty20 cricket – however, Bangalore should have enough firepower to finally break their duck.
Captain Kohli, in particular, has been in a world of his own this campaign, having smashed his way to 919 runs at an average of 83.54 in just 15 matches – 140 ahead of next best David Warner, which has already all-but secured him the famous Orange Cap.
The 27-year-old Indian is, therefore, a fantastic 4/1 shout in Coral’s enhanced wincast, to be best batsman and his team triumph. That bet is highly enticing given that the Royal Challengers have won each of their last five matches, with Kohli top scoring in three of those.
De Villiers has also managed a whopping total in the IPL this season, with 682 at an average of 56.83 and the highest strike rate of any of the top five with 170.
The Proteas performer also happened to get the most runs for his team against Hyderabad at this ground earlier in the campaign, so is 11/4 to do so again.
If you fancy Windies big hitter Gayle to pick up form on the biggest stage, however, then he is a slightly longer 3/1 shout.
Warner the star for Sunrisers
As for the Sunrisers, whose best result in their four-year history was only fourth place before this season, they can call upon Warner. The Australian opener is 6/1 in an enhanced wincast.
They have the likes of Shikhar Dhawan (3/1), Kane Williamson (4/1) and England one day skipper Eoin Morgan among their ranks too, and will likely need one than one of them to be on top form if they are to win.
Hyderabad’s main threat may come from the bowling department, though, as Bhuvneshwar Kumar is leading the way to earn the Purple Cap this season so far with 23 wickets.
It is no surprise that the India international is 5/2 to get the best figures for his team again, but he is ably backed up by Mustafizur Rahman (11/4) and Trent Boult (7/2).
For Bangalore, Yuzvendra Chahal has been the star with the ball, claiming 20 scalps from four fewer matches than Kumar at a fantastic average of 18.30, and jointly tops his side’s market at 3/1 along with Aussie bowler Shane Watson, who also has 20 wickets.
It promises to be a thrilling occasion in front of a passionate Indian crowd, with some of the world’s top stars on offer, so can Bangalore finally claim their first IPL title?
Coral’s top tip: Kohli is a brilliant 4/1 price to be top batsman and Bangalore win, in an enhanced wincast.