IPL Betting: Right royal battle
De Villiers is the man with consistent good form, scoring fifties in each of his last two outings.
Tobias Gourlay expects in-form Bangalore and reigning champions Chennai to battle it out big time in their next IPL match.
The Royal Challengers are on a winning streak of three. Knocking off 185, chasing down 165, then posting an unassailed 189 up first, the batsmen are the stars of Bangalore's show.
Chris Gayle was taken ill before the last game with Rajasthan, but Tillekaratne Dilshan's cool 76 and AB de Villiers' brutal 59 were at the heart of a match-winning total.
KP Appanna, the slow left armer who took four Rajasthan wickets, might now keep his place among the bowlers.
The Super Kings have won their last two matches to move joint top of the table with five other teams, including Bangalore.
MS Dhoni's most recently beat Rajasthan, but the victory was less convincing than a margin of seven wickets suggests. The Super Kings had needed only 31 runs with four overs to go, but contrived to still require two runs off the final ball. Thank goodness for Dhoni.
Venue & conditions
Three of the four games already played at Bangalore's M. Chinnaswamy Stadium have been won by the side batting first. All four totals have been competitive: 157/8; 165/8; 195/2; 182/6.
There's been a fifty scored in every match and six in total, including Ajinkya Rahane's century. Over 68.5 runs has won the Highest Individual Score market twice.
That no team has a win percentage better than 67% this year, and that no fewer than five teams are joint top of the table, suggest IPL5 has no outstanding T20 unit. The market indeed finds it hard to split Chennai, the pre-tournament favourites, and in-form Bangalore, so both will go off around evens.
Bangalore could offer more trading potential. Their batting lineup is awesome and any one of Gayle, Dilshan and De Villiers might at some stage look set to win the game on his own. At these moments, the Royal Challengers' price will plummet and there will be opportunities to lay them off for a profit.
Chennai have the game's supreme finisher, Dhoni, who makes it hard to bet against them outright, but his team have not been dominating opponents as tournament favourites should and there's a good chance that they will play at least part of this match as the outsiders.
Top Bangalore Batsman
De Villiers is the man with consistent good form, scoring fifties in each of his last two outings, but in neither of those game's has he actually been the Royal Challengers' top-scorer. Gayle and then Dilshan have beaten him.
Top Chennai Batsman
Faf du Plessis has scored fifties in three of his last four innings and is within striking distance of the orange cap, the ridiculous garment that belongs on the head of the tournament's leading runscorer. With this innings in hand, the South African is 30 runs behind Ajinkya Rahane, whose pate it currently adorns.