The top two in the group standings play-off to advance directly to the final. And the value seems clear. Bulls, who actually finished in top spot due to net run rate, are considered outsiders at 2.206/5 with Warriors 1.794/5.
We understand why. The market is swayed by the hitting ability of Warriors’ Nic Pooran, who is taking ball-striking to a new level. But we also know there are tournament trends which provide a comfort rug to taking on the favourites.
There is a heavy toss bias in this tournament. Only six teams in 24 matches have won batting first. That means that if Delhi can get the flip to go their way, they will be worth following. We expect their price to take a dip but around 1.9010/11 might be still available before the first ball.
And that’s fine. But do bear in mind the 2.206/5 could come back very quickly indeed with an expected Warriors surge.
The favourites have dominated and in that regard the trend goes against the Bulls. We have had only four upsets all tournament. But are the Bulls genuine outsiders? We have seen plenty of mismatches in the competition but surely this isn’t one.
We don’t forget Warriors losing to the Arabians, a shocking outfit, in the first game of the competition. They can belt it, but can they keep it tight?
This is a choice affair once the market gets its house in order. Qalandars are 1.8810/11 and Abu Dhabi 1.9210/11.
At the pre-toss stage we would make Qalandars the favourites. Up until their last group game they looked to be the best team in the tournament. They had won five out five but came surprisingly unstuck against the Bulls. After posting 107 they were smashed, losing with just under three overs to spare.
Abu Dhabi beat Bangla in their final ladder match. Paul Stirling was the main man, proving they are not too reliant on Chris Gayle. He hit 64 from 32.
But they don’t have as good a balance as Qalandars who have the edge with the ball. They have an average economy rate of 10.5 runs per over while TAD are going at 11.1. It doesn’t sound like much but it’s a fair margin in this format.
Of course, we would like to keep the toss on our side. If the likes of Gayle, Stirling and Luke Wright get off to a quick start we may be able to get 2.1011/10. So the advice would be to book that price. We will look to trade it as we are wary of letting wagers runs given the propensity for one man to turn a game on its head.
Average score bating first 111
Matches won batting first 6/24
Highest chase 129
Teams score 110 or more 11/24
Won by favourites 20/24