Having won two of the three matches played this season, the Royal Challengers Bangalore and Rajasthan Royals are in a comfortable position at the moment. They will cross paths at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium, in Abu Dhabi, this Saturday afternoon. With equally good players on paper, we cannot declare any of them as favourites ahead of the match. Whatever may be the result, we are expecting a cliffhanger this weekend.
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Are you surprised with the pick? Don’t be, cause I have many reasons to justify my claim. In the three matches played so far, Rajasthan Royals have never had the better opening stand, having scored just 45 runs, at a rate of 15 runs per innings, while conceding a whopping 275 runs in the same, which includes a century stand during the games against Kings XI Punjab. Steven Smith has been phenomenal to say the least, but the opener at the other end - Jos Butler or Yashashvi Jaiswal has failed to make a mark so far.
On the other hand, Royal Challengers Bangalore have had the better opening stand in two of the three matches so far having scored 173 runs, averaging 57.66 runs per match, while letting in 89 runs in the same (29.67 runs per match). Moreover, two of their openers - Devdutt Padikkal and Aaron Finch, have been pretty good this season, with them boasting an average of 37.00 and 33.60 runs per innings, which gives them a head start. I hope you have placed the bet by now.
Even though Rajasthan Royals have already hit 43 sixes this season, averaging over 9 sixes per match, one of those matches were played at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium, in which they struck 18 of the total tally. But, the upcoming match will be played at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium, in Abu Dhabi, which is a bigger ground compared to the above-mentioned one. In fact, in eight innings, only twice have a team ended their innings with more than five sixes, which surely tells us a tale.
In the last five H2H matches between these two sides, the number of sixes Rajasthan Royals have hit were - 3, 6, 14, 0, 2, with a total count of 25, at a rate of 5 per match, with them hitting six more in just two of those games. In the 2019 IPL, the team managed to hit 66 sixes in the entire tournament, in 14 matches, at a rate of 4.71 sixes per innings, which sets the tone for this bet. We are not expecting more than five sixes in the Rajasthan Royals innings, so place your bets quickly.
This one is a quite safe bet to say the least, with the Royal Challengers Bangalore boasting of explosive batsmen in their line-up. In the three matches played this season, Virat and Co. have hit a total of 41 boundaries (14, 10, 17), at a rate of almost 14 per match, having struck more than 13 in two of those games. In the 2019 IPL, they’ve recorded a total of 186 boundaries in 14 matches, at a rate of over 13 hits per innings.
In the last five matches against Rajasthan Royals, they have hit a total of 78 boundaries (18, 15, 20, 15, 10), averaging 15.6 per match, which supports our cause. On the flip side, Rajasthan Royals have conceded 41 boundaries in the three matches they have played so far, shipping in almost 14 per match. With all the evidence pointing in favour of the Royal Challengers Bangalore, we should not overlook this bet at all.
Royal Challengers to have the highest opening partnership @ 1.90 (Bet 365)
Rajasthan Royals to hit under 5.5 sixes @ 1.80 (Bet 365)
Royal Challengers Bangalore to hit over 13.5 boundaries @ 1.83 (Bet 365)