IPL free betting preview and playoff tips including Sunrisers Hyderabad

Manish Pandey is a key cog in the Sunrisers' batting line-up

The IPL has reached the latter stages with four teams left fighting it out for the coveted trophy - Richard Mann thinks he's found the winners at 6/1.

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2pts Sunrisers Hyderabad to win the Indian Premier League at 6/1

'Be patient, we're almost there.' These could be the words of Joe Biden to the American electorate on Wednesday morning, but are in fact a plea to devoted cricket punters who are entitled to be feeling more than just a little weary as the Indian Premier League enters into the final phase.

After weeks of league action, we now have our last four standing with Mumbai Indians and Delhi Capitals finishing first and second in the table and Sunrisers Hyderabad and Royal Challengers Bangalore sneaking into the final two qualifying spots beneath them.

As their reward, Delhi and Mumbai will face off in Qualifier 1 on Thursday with the winner certain of a place in Tuesday's final and the loser getting a second bite of the cherry on Sunday against the victor of Friday's Qualifier 2 between Sunrisers and RCB.

With two chances to make the final, Mumbai (5/4) and Delhi (2/1) are strongly favoured in the outright betting with Sunrisers (6/1) and RCB (7/1) needing to produce near-faultless cricket from here on in to claim title glory.

Mumbai look rock-solid with their fearsomely deep batting further bolstered by the return to fitness of captain Rohit Sharma, who slots back into the fold alongside the likes of Quinton de Kock, Ishan Kishan and Suryakumar Yadav in a strong top order.

Rohit Sharma

With Hardik Pandya and Kieron Pollard adding the late fireworks, and Jasprit Bumrah and Trent Boult making regular inroads with the ball, it is no surprise that Mumbai were able to power themselves to top spot of the league table.

Having won the IPL on a record four occasions now - including last year - it is very hard to knock the defending champions for all they slumped to a ten-wicket defeat to the Sunrisers on Tuesday.

We wouldn't expect that defeat to leave too many scars on a Mumbai outfit who know how to get the job done in big matches - for all it will surely boost the Sunrisers - and they certainly tick plenty of boxes on paper. I'd expect them to have too many guns for Delhi on Thursday, particularly if they can weather the storm from Delhi's South African pace duo Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje.

Rabada is the leading wicket-taker in the tournament so far, his 25 scalps allowing Delhi to make a lightning start to the competition, but they have now lost four of their last five matches and I fear the wheels might just be coming off at precisely the wrong time.

In contrast to that, Sunrisers head into the latter stages with their tails very much up having won four of their last five matches and three on the bounce against the three other teams to have qualified for the playoffs. Those last three victories were impressive and ruthless in equal measure with their 88-run mauling off Delhi followed by a five and ten-wicket cruises against RCB and Mumbai respectively.

That 'form' certainly reads well and David Warner's side are sure to be full of confidence - it has certainly looked that way on the field - knowing that they have enjoyed convincing wins over each of the three teams standing in their way of IPL triumph in the coming days.

Winning three games on the spin in a tournament as competitive as this is no easy task, but Sunrisers have just achieved that with style and panache and the 2016 winners look to be peaking at the right time once again.

David Warner

Warner was captain when inspiring the men in orange to victory over Friday's opponents, RCB, in the final back in 2016 and after a sluggish start to his own season with the bat and in the field, the Australian has really come good.

Warner looked some way off the pace in the early stages of the competition, chewing up balls in the powerplay overs and putting too much pressure on his batting colleagues, but he has come out swinging since the sobering collapse when chasing a modest score against Kings XI a few weeks ago.

Rapid contributions of 88 and 85* in two of the last three matches have seen Warner lead from the front with all the swagger and brute force of old and in turn, that has unleashed the shackles from his teammates who are now playing with similar freedom and no little skill.

It should not be underestimated what a smart decision it has been to recently replace with Jonny Bairstow with Wriddhiman Saha and the Indian test wicketkeeper has responded with scores of 30, 87, 39 and 58*, while at the same time freeing up an overseas spot for Sunrisers who have thus been able to find room for West Indies all-rounder Jason Holder whose accuracy with the new ball and reliable middle-order batting has proved invaluable.

Warner and Saha's partnership at the top of the order remains crucial to Sunrisers' chances: Warner's power and aggression complimenting Saha's more classical style which relies on wonderful touch and shot placement.

With Manish Pandey adding more verve at number three, Kane Williamson a calming influence at number four, and Holder slotting into a bowling attack that is lead by wrist spinner Rashid Khan and the criminally underrated Sandeep Sharma, Sunrisers have most bases covered and more importantly, are riding on a crest of a wave and playing with no fear.

Kane Williamson

Winning three more in a row is clearly a big ask, but the tide appears to have turned in Sunrisers' favour and at 6/1, they are the only bet worth striking in the outright market now.

That's not to downplay the threat posed by RCB who should push Sunrisers close on Friday. Virat Kohli has finally moulded a more robust team from the one that has perennially underachieved in the IPL but AB de Villiers and the captain apart, the batting still concerns me with Josh Philippe being favoured over Aaron Finch at the top of the order barely believable.

As such, so much responsibility falls on the big two and with Kohli playing solidly without quite being able to produce the fireworks usually associated with him, RCB look vulnerable on the batting front, as is the case with the bowling that relies so heavily on the brilliance of leg spinner Yuzvendra Chahal.

I'm backing Sunrisers to again prove too well-rounded and too strong for RCB on Friday, before running with that momentum all the way to a second IPL title in five years.

Posted at 1230 BST on 04/11/20

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