The beginning of week five of the 2020 Indian Premier League offers a chance for the top-performing teams to tighten their grip on the playoff positions.
Mumbai Indians, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Delhi Capitals are all vying for the top two positions, having reeled off impressive victories.
Other outfits are beginning to fall away, none more so that Kings XI Punjab, who are rooted to the bottom of the standings.
Despite losing to Kings XI, RCB have a huge opportunity to cement their post-season place in this crucial week.
Here are our tips for their game against Rajasthan Royals and the rest of the action at the start of week five – check them out below.
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RCB’s star men have come to the fore to put them in contention for a place in the top two. AB de Villiers scored a blistering knock of 73 from 33 balls to guide his team to a total of 194-2 against Kolkata Knight Riders.
The bowlers took control of the contest as Chris Morris and Washington Sundar were on point to put the clamps on Kolkata to ease to the victory. Despite losing their last game to the Kings XI Punjab, RCB have the talent to be a contender for the crown.
The Royals continue to struggle despite their star talent. Ben Stokes’ innings of 41 did not bring a change in their fortunes, slumping to a 13-run loss to the Capitals. Jofra Archer was excellent once again for Rajasthan as he claimed figures of 3-19 in the loss.
Steve Smith’s men are struggling to put a complete performance together. Unless they can stage a dramatic improvement – the post-season could be beyond them. RCB are playing the better cricket, despite their loss last time out, so they’re our cricket tip of the week.
Royal Challengers Bangalore To Beat Rajasthan Royals – 1.72 bet365
The Super Kings put forward a solid outing to defeat Sunrisers Hyderabad last time out. Sam Curran’s elevation to the top of the order worked as he scored a brisk 31 before Shane Watson, Ambati Rayudu and Ravindra Jadeja added important runs.
The bowlers worked well as a unit to restrict Sunrisers – none more so than Curran, who enjoyed his best day of the season thus far. That’s the standard Chennai need to operate at to compete for a post-season place, but remaining at that level will be a challenge.
Delhi are the team to beat in the competition this term. Shreyas Iyer continues to lead from the front, adding another half-century against the Royals. The Capitals were not at their best in their win over Rajasthan. However, they showed the character of a champion to close out the victory. Expect a better performance against the Super Kings to ensure they maintain their standing in the top two.
Chennai won all three meetings between the sides last year, but back the Capitals to take this one.
Delhi Capitals To Beat Chennai Super Kings – 1.80 bet365
Despite boasting a talented batting unit and quality spinners, Sunrisers have not been able to string together victories in the IPL 2020 season. Kane Williamson scored an impressive half-century against the Super Kings last time out. However, support was not forthcoming from the rest of the line-up.
Sunrisers were unable to mount a charge towards the end of their innings, falling 20 runs short. The result has left them off the pace in the standings, leaving Hyderabad in dire need of a victory to swing momentum in their favour for a late surge up the table.
Kolkata had a day to forget against RCB, failing to compete with the bat and ball. Every team is capable of a poor outing and it’s one they’ll be keen to put behind them quickly. The Knight Riders are still on pace to qualify for the post-season, but they have to ease the burden of Shubman Gill. Eoin Morgan, Rahul Tripathi and Dinesh Karthik need to find a level of consistency.
Karthik’s men are the stronger outfit on form this term – so back them for the win in this one.
Kolkata Knight Riders To Beat Sunrisers Hyderabad – 1.92 1xBet
The Indians are looking good in their bid to defend their crown. They held their composure to beat the upstart Capitals and prove they’ve not lost any of their championship vigour. Rohit Sharma’s men have found consistency in all disciplines of the game. Trent Boult, Jasprit Bumrah and James Pattinson are in sync in the bowling ranks.
Quinton de Kock and Suryakumar Yadav have found their touch to ease the burden on their skipper. More will be required from the duo in the top order to ensure another passage through to the playoffs once again.
Kings XI Punjab are having a rough time even though Lokesh Rahul and Mayank Agarwal are currently sitting at one and two in the run charts. Both batsmen have been exceptional, but have had no support from their team-mates with the bat or the ball. Chris Gayle coming to the party with a half-century in the last game will be welcomed by the team and fans alike.
Despite the return of the Universe Boss, this contest appears to be one of the mismatches of the tournament. Anything other than a victory for the Indians would be stunning.
Mumbai Indians To Beat Kings XI Punjab – 1.675 1xBet
This is a contest that neither side can afford to lose. Both teams are in similar positions in the table and have not produced their best form yet. The Super Kings have shown glimpses of their past ability to produce under pressure. MS Dhoni’s men have been battling criticism of the age of their squad.
Faf du Plessis has shone at the top of the order, but unless players of Curran’s ilk continue to perform then Chennai are not going to a make a run.
Rajasthan have their gun players in Stokes, Buttler and Archer. The latter has been excellent, but Buttler has been hit and miss. He and Rajasthan may need one flawless outing to click into gear.
The Super Kings have won 14 of the 22 meetings between the sides. However, Rajasthan won the earlier contest this season and we back them again to emerge with the victory.
Rajasthan Royals To Beat Chennai Super Kings – 1.93 1xBet