The 2017 IPL championship comes to a conclusion today, with a rematch of the first game of season – Mumbai Indians take on Rising Pune Supergiant in Hyderabad.
These teams finished in the top two positions in the league and have met three times already this season, with Pune winning all the games.
Yet, despite those three losses, Mumbai start as marginal favourites. They have been here before, winning the IPL title on two previous occasions, and also topped the regular season table with ten wins from 14 games.
Pune, on the other hand, have only been in existence as an IPL franchise for two seasons, and came last but one in 2016.
Still, there’s not much between the two teams so we’ll take a punt on a bet that isn’t win dependant. The Indians have a strong seam attack, but with the pitches starting to wear we will take a punt on leg spinner Karn Sharma taking the most wickets at 7/2.
As a more speculative option, we fully expect RPS to bat first whomever wins the toss. This may well mean the ball is in the hands of Aussie left-arm speedster Mitchell Johnson for the first ball.
His express pace is hard to put a bat on, but also can be a little wayward. It is tempting to suggest the first ball will be a wide, but the massive value here is that the first ball is a bye/leg-bye. Anything straying on to leg stump (which for Mitch is about 50:50) will be hard to hit at his speed, but contact with the body should allow for a scampered run. It looks overpriced at 25/1.
Karn Sharma, top Mumbai Indians bowler, 7/2 generally available.
First ball to be a bye/leg-bye, 25/1, Paddy Power
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