Chennai Super Kings vs Mumbai Indians
Start Time: 3:30pm ITV4

THERE can be no meaningful doubt these have been the best two sides in this year's IPL and deserve the advantages earned by filling the top-two positions in the points table.

Whoever wins this first qualifier goes through to Sunday's final, while the losers get another chance on Friday against the winners of Wednesday's eliminator between Sunrisers and Rajasthan.

On the basis of this season's table-topping form, a remarkably deep batting line-up, peerless tournament pedigree and that potential second chance to progress, it would be a big surprise were CSK not to reach their fourth straight IPL final.

This first qualifier, however, is far from straightforward considering they lost both home and away fixtures to Mumbai. Chennai's strength lies in the middle-order's ability to hit almost any score at will during the death overs but sights will have to be set a little lower against the likes of Lasith Malinga and Mitchell Johnson.

Mumbai Mumbai are also play-off regulars, making their fourth appearance, but this stellar line-up has yet to win an IPL and have only reached one final, losing to Chennai in 2010.

It must be said, however, this year's team looks stronger. For me the key difference has been Johnson whose pacy swing bowling has caused havoc and ensured opponents get no respite when Malinga is off.

Consequently they are a hard side to chase against whie few have looked capable of containing Rohit Sharma and Kieron Pollard at the death. The only slight doubt concerns the neutral venue. Mumbai won all eight matches at the fortress Wankhede Stadium but were less convincing away from home and lost at today's ground to bottom-placed Delhi.

As usual, Feroz Shah Kotla has seen a range of totals over the course of the season but they offer little guide at this stage of the tournament. In the last two IPLs the pitches prepared for the play-offs have tended to be easy for batting, producing six scores of 175 or more from eight matches.

Presumably the sponsors want to see plenty of sixes on these set-piece occasions. Moreover, Delhi would boast a higher average if Daredevils hadn't had such a poor season and has always been a ground where good teams can record big totals.

RCB hit 183 in the last first innings here and it is hard to see how either of these superb line-ups will fail to register something competitive. I'll be backing 160 or more at around 2.0 and 180 plus at a more speculative 4.0.

This looks almost a perfect 50-50 match so on value grounds, I'm going for Mumbai at 2.1. It is also worth remembering Mumbai have beaten Chennai twice this season and, critically, shown they can stem the flow of runs at the death.

This may well boil down to which side scores more in the last five overs. If so I'd rather be on Malinga and Johnson than Bravo and Morris.

As always one could make a case for any of Chennai's top six so I'm inclined to look for bigger prices than the short odds about Mike Hussey and Suresh Raina. The boundaries are very much within range on this ground so expect MS Dhoni to play a pivotal role. The CSK skipper is good value at around 7.0 to top-score.

With Mumbai the plan here is to back a big-hitter. Pollard and Sharma are obvious but the former usually arrives at the crease too late and the latter is the favourite.

Instead, I like Dwayne Smith at around 5.0. As an opener there is always a chance he could take this market beyond the reach of others with a batch of early sixes and the CSK new-ball bowlers could be vulnerable at this ground.

Recommended bet

Back Mumbai @ 2.1

Milesey (Betfair)

7 Comments
  1. ellis 8 years ago

    McIlroy to win the golf on Thursday milesy. What do you think

    Also in the other one, D.A. points and Bo van pelt worth outside bets?

  2. Milesey 8 years ago

    The BMW PGA Championship

    Tournament History
    The first BMW PGA Championship was played at Wentworth back in 1972. Three years later it moved to Royal St.Georges, which hosted the event for the next three years, and then for the six years from 1978 to 1983 it was played at a number of different venues before it returned to Wentworth in 1984, where it’s been staged ever since. This will by the 42nd edition of the European Tour’s flagship tournament and again, sadly, it’s the only European Tour event of the season to be held in England.

    Venue
    Wentworth (West Course), Surrey, England.

    Course Details
    Par 72 -7,302 yards
    Stroke Index in 2012 – 73.25
    Opened in 1926 and designed by Harry Colt, the West Corse, also referred to as Burma Road, has undergone a series of alterations in recent years, under the supervision of Ernie Els.

    All the greens were remodelled in 2009/10 but the biggest change of all came on the par five 18th hole. At the mercy to modern equipment, the old 18th was an almost given birdie and a great eagle chance but now, with a dirty great stream snaking its way in front of the green, it’s a stunning risk/reward finishing hole.

    Poor Ernie had to put up with a lot of criticism in 2010 when players first met with the new design and in truth, it didn’t quite work. Most players attempting to find the green in two found the water and the vast majority decided to play it as a three-shot hole so prior to last year’s renewal the landing area was extended and flattened out and the green was rebuilt.

    After two years as a ridiculously tough par 4, the 12th hole was changed back to a par five before last year’s renewal too and it finished the week as the second easiest hole. Only the par 5 4th played easier.

    Wentworth is a tight, tree-lined, fairly flat course with tricky-to-read greens that run at just 10 on the stimpmeter.

    TV Coverage
    Live on Sky Sports – 10am on Thursday and Friday and 12.30pm on Saturday and Sunday. Highlights only over the weekend on BBC.

    Last Five Winners
    2012 – Luke Donald -15
    2011 – Luke Donald -6 (Playoff) (Par 71)
    2010 – Simon Khan -6 (Par 71)
    2009 – Paul Casey -17
    2008 – Miguel Angel Jimenez -11 (Playoff)

    What will it take to win the BMW PGA Championship?
    Being able to play in windy conditions and having the experience of the Wentworth wind is crucial. As well as a yardage book, the players are issued with a wind map but just how much it helps I’ve no idea. It can be quite baffling at times, you can be in one spot on the course and barely feel the wind but then you can walk along a short while and it’ll be blowing a gale! The course plays very much harder in breezy conditions and it can be very confusing for those with little course experience.

    A straight game is definitely preferable to a long one and patience is a prerequisite too. To win here you need to bide your time, avoid trouble and make your score on the long holes.

    Is there an angle in?
    Course form stands up really well and it often pays to follow those that have shown a liking to the place already. The likes of Rory McIlroy, Ian Poulter, Graeme McDowell and Padraig Harrington always seem to struggle and are simply not worth persevering with. In contrast, plenty of players, and some of them far from fashionable, play well here year after year. You need to oppose the Wentworth wobblers and get with the Wentworth winners.

    Is there an identikit winner?
    British players, and English players in particular have a great record in the event and an Englishman has won the last four renewals.

    There have been some big-priced winners in the past and the unheralded Simon Khan took the title in 2010, the first year the event was played following the major course changes, but over the last two years the very best have been slugging it out come Sunday.

    Lee Westwood pushed Luke Donald all the way two years ago and last year it was Justin Rose. It’s a sterner test than ever now, especially in the wind, and I’ll be surprised if we get a shock winner this year.

    In-Play Tactics
    At the time of writing, the forecast suggests strong winds will be an ever-present over the first two days, before conditions improve over the weekend. It’s going to be fairly cold too, so don’t expect low-scoring. It may be that the market doesn’t quite recognise a good score on Thursday morning and there might be a bit of value about early on.

    Ordinarily I’d expect around – 6 to be leading after day one but I fancy it could be considerably higher this year.

    With two par 5s to finish, anything can happen and big swings can occur late on. There were only eight eagles made all week on 17 and 18 last year (four on each) but a birdie-birdie finish isn’t uncommon. And nor is a bogey-bogey finish either. Luke Donald blew a great chance here in 2010 when he double-bogeyed the 17th and now that there’s water in front of the 18th, anything can happen there too.

    Market Leaders
    Nick Faldo won this event four times, and Bernard Langer and Colin Montgomerie both did so on three occasions, so multiple wins are fairly common. Monty won his three-in-a-row between 1998 and 2000 and Luke Donald has an excellent chance of emulating him this time around.

    Second and third favourites, Rory McIlroy and Lee Westwood, both have largely disappointing form around Wentworth and both are readily dismissed at the prices, and so too is Justin Rose.

    With two second placed finishes around Wentworth, Rose has the course form in the book but he’s been off the boil for a while now and his missed cut at the Players Championship hardly bodes well.

    The entire winning Ryder Cup team from Medinah is present this week and I have to wonder if that’s the only reason Sergio Garcia is playing. He’s been quite well-supported in the market but given he hasn’t played in this event since 2000 I’m more than happy to pass him up. Romilly Evans looks at the Spaniard in depth in this piece here.

    Selections
    Although I’ve only had a very small wager on Luke Donald, I felt I couldn’t leave him out of my calculations entirely. He isn’t quite at the top of his game at present but nobody in the field plays Wentworth as well as him and I wouldn’t be in the least bit surprised to see him win it for a third straight year.

    I’ve outlined the case for South African, Branden Grace, here and for small stakes only I’ve given his fellow countryman, Ernie Els, one more try at a big price.

    The Big Easy used to live at Wentworth and he owned the Volvo Match Play here, winning it a record seven times, but for some bizarre reason, he’s never won this one. He had to deflect an awful lot of flak two years ago over the course changes and then last year he lost the plot over the watering of the greens. Hopefully he can have a more peaceful week this year and just concentrate on contending.

    He’s been putting well of late, he’ll be in the minority when it comes to being able to figure out the wind over the first two days and he was far too big at 70.0.

    Playing on a medical exemption twelve months ago, and following five straight missed cuts, Richard Sterne really caught the eye with his 6th placed finish. He was also third here in 2007 and over the last six months on the European Tour, he’s the number one performer on the par fives. He’s already a winner this season, having claimed the Joburg Open in February, and I can see him going really well this week.

    Paul Lawrie has a great record at Wentworth and the tough conditions on Thursday and Friday may play to his strengths. He’s not the fastest starter and often has too much to do over the weekend but it might be a bit of grind over the first two days this year and that should suit him.

    Putting has been his weakness this year but he tweeted yesterday that the “putter had been good this week”.

    My final selection is Brett Rumford, who I was very surprised to get 120.0 about. Rumford has won his last two stroke play events and was 4th here in 2006, so he has both current and course form. He grew up in Perth, playing the tree-lined Lake Karrinyup Country Club and contending with the notorious Fremantle Doctor. He has one of the finest short games in the world at present, it won’t matter a jot how hard the wind blows and there’s no way he should be trading at a tripe-figure price.

    Pre-Event Selections
    Luke Donald @ 9.6
    Branden Grace @ 55.0
    Ernie Els @ 70.0
    Richard Sterne @ 70.0 (Fixed Odds)
    Paul Lawrie @ 75.0
    Brett Rumford @ 120.0

    Several massive outsiders have won the BMW PGA Championship during it’s long history, most recently Simon Khan at odds of 600.0 in 2010.

    As always, a plethora of world-class players head the market for this week’s BMW PGA Championship, which is good news for the purposes of this column. Extra quality and depth amongst the favourites means many more plausible winners within our price-range and it must be said that narrowing this week’s shortlist was tougher than usual. For example, I will probably have a moan if Paul Casey wins but with three bigger-priced alternatives marginally preferred, the line had to be drawn somewhere.

    First up at odds of 150.0, Victor Dubuisson hasn’t won yet, but this promising Frenchman looks bound to break through sooner or later. Dubuisson’s first 59 starts on the European Tour have yielded an impressive 20 top-25 finishes, including 11 top-tens, four of which have come this season. The feature of his play throughout has been long game excellence, as demonstrated by topping the greens in regulation stats last time out en route to third place in the China Open. That bodes well for Wentworth’s tough test, as does 21st on last year’s course debut.

    Nobody came closer last season to landing this column a winner than Marcus Fraser, who traded at heavily odds-on when losing a play-off for the BMW International Open. He also gave us a good run for our money in this event two years ago, finishing fourth at around 500.0. This year he’s available at 160.0, which still looks way too big and something of an insult. Recent form is excellent too, with Fraser finishing second on his penultimate start in the Ballantines, (his third runners-up spot in the past year), and fifth in the Dubai Desert Classic.

    Normally I’d be loathe to back a rookie around Wentworth but at odds of 300.0, an exception can be made for Emiliano Grillo. I strongly suspect that before long, we will only be able to dream of taking such odds about the next great Argentinian player. Grillo has repeatedly caught the eye in recent months and with top-25s on five of his last six starts, looks certain to contend strongly very soon. He ranks second for total driving this season and ranked in the top-three for greens in regulation on three of those recent starts. That’s the perfect skills-set for Wentworth.

    The trading plan is to stake five units in total, then place lay orders at 14.0 and 3.0 on each player. If just one of them hits the first target, we’ll be guaranteed to at least triple our money.

    Recommended bets

    Back Victor Dubuisson 2u @ 150.0
    Back Marcus Fraser 2u @ 160.0
    Back Emiliano Grillo 1u @ 300.

    SOME E/W SELECTIONS TO CONSIDER
    —————————————————-

    Back Danny Willett @ 126.0

    Danny Willett hasn’t played competitively since early March, when he finished fifth at the Tshwane Open in South Africa; he’s kept himself busy in the meantime with a stag do and wedding. After two months off it’s anyone’s guess how the newly married golfer will perform this week but at 126.0 it’s worth a risk. I remember vividly Willett briefly taking control of this tournament before folding in 2010, since then the young Englishman has broken his duck on the European Tour and may be a different proposition in contention.

    Back David Horsey @ 71.0

    Whatever the level, continually getting into contention and finishing high up has to do the confidence a world of good. So it doesn’t matter that David Horsey’s last three appearances have been in low-profile, low-on-quality European Tour events. The fact that he finished second, fourth, and sixth does matter as it shows the young Englishman is playing some of the best golf of his career. He’s also a two-time winner on the European Tour and finished in a tie for seventh here in 2011 when in similar form. A reproduction of his golf in the last month must see him go well.

    Back Richard Sterne @ 51.0

    Richard Sterne has spent a couple of years in the golfing wilderness but has been a revitalised figure this year. A win at the Joburg Open in February ended a five year drought but was the sixth of his European Tour career, so we know he can be trusted when in contention. Long off the tee but accurate with it, Sterne has also been putting well this year and possesses the game to go well at Wentworth as two top-10 finishes, including a sixth in 2012, would testify.

    Back Matteo Manassero @ 67.0

    Wentworth is very much a course that requires plenty of learning, favouring experienced players, so we should sit up and take notice when a youngster immediately gets the hang of the place. Matteo Manassero made the top-20 on his course debut at the age of 17 and a year later held the lead going into the final round. Pressure took it’s toll on that occasion but the brilliant young Italian, still only 20, looks a surefire winner of this event one day. Though he hasn’t set the golfing world alight yet this season, Manassero has been consistent, making the top-25 on every European Tour start and, as usual, hitting a very high percentage of fairways.

    Back Branden Grace @ 51.0

    Branden Grace was no match for match play specialist Graeme McDowell on Sunday in the semi-finals of the Volvo World Match Play but it was still a hugely encouraging week. Understandably, the South African hasn’t yet matched the spectacular heights of 2012, when he won five times (four times on the European Tour) but he might not be far off winning again now. His fifth place finish on debut last year was a tremendous performance and if he builds on that he’ll be bang in contention on Sunday afternoon.

    Milesey

  3. Milesey 8 years ago

    LAY OF THE DAY
    ———————-

    Dundalk have made a bright start to their campaign in Ireland and I’m backing them to continue their good form by avoiding defeat during the 90 minutes in their EA Sports Cup tie at Shamrock Rovers this evening.

    Shamrock Rovers could only finish in fourth place last year and that meant a change of manager for the Hoops. Trevor Croly was appointed as boss in 2013 and the former assistant had his first job as a number one. It’s been a slow beginning for him though as Rovers are only sixth in the table after 14 games with just three victories to their name.

    In defence of the manager, his side have only lost twice, but an astonishing nine draws has hindered their progress and they already trail Sligo at the top by 12 points having played a game more. Things have been a bit better away from the league though as they lifted the Setanta Cup 10 days ago, beating Drogheda 7-1 in the final.

    Dundalk also have a new manager at the helm and in a twist of fate, the man in charge is Stephen Kenny. Kenny was sacked by Shamrock Rovers last September after a 1-0 home defeat to Bohemians.

    He is doing much better at the moment though as he has his side up in fourth place – a quite remarkable feat considering that they had to come through a relegation play-off tie to keep their top flight status last year.

    The Lilywhites have amassed 24 points from 13 fixtures to date, losing just three times. One of those defeats was at Tallaght Stadium and Dundalk do have a terrible head to head record with Shamrock, but this is the cup and they will be highly motivated to exact revenge.

    Dundalk have been the better team this season and although Shamrock Rovers do appear to have the Indian sign over them, I think they have to be opposed to get the job done in 90 minutes at around the 1.79 mark. That’s why, at the prices, I’m making them my lay of the day.

    Recommended Bet
    Lay Shamrock Rovers v Dundalk @ 1.79

    Milesey

  4. Milesey 8 years ago

    HORSE RACING TIPS
    ——————-

    WEDNESDAY 22ND MAY 2013
    ————————

    LUCKY 15

    4:20 SOUTHWELL
    THE LOCK MASTER @ 9/1 LADBROKES
    Has won eight races from 1m to 1m 4f including 5 wins on the all-weather (3 FB, 2 PO). Well beaten at 14-1 behind Icebuster when last of 12 on his latest outing at Haydock over 1m 2f (good to firm) last month.

    3:30 LINGFIELD
    HONEST STRIKE @ 9/4 BETFRED
    He has won four times from 1m 4f to 2m on the all-weather. Won on his latest outing when 2-1fav here over 2m earlier this month, beating Broughtons Bandit by 1/2l.

    8:00 KEMPTON
    MALLORY HEIGHTS @ 6/1 LADBROKES
    Placed once in four starts. Finished 2l behind Brick Rising when fifth of 8 at 3-1 on his latest outing at Windsor over 1m 4f (good) last month.

    6:20 WORCESTER
    ITALIAN MASTER @ 2/1 TOTESPORT
    Placed in three hurdle races and a NH flat race from five starts. Finished 20l behind Lower Hope Dandy when fourth of 17 at 9-2jt-fav on his latest outing in a hurdle race at Cheltenham over 3m (good to soft) last month.

    OUTSIDER
    4:10 HUNTINGDON
    GO AMWELL @ 14/1 BET365
    Winner of five hurdle races from 2m 4f to 3m 2f on ground varying from good to firm to good to soft. Finished 16l behind Marico when fifth of 12 at 14-1 on his latest outing in a hurdle race at Plumpton over 3m 1f (good) earlier this month.

    Milesey

    • Mr Fixit 8 years ago

      Milesey, get these up later. Taking the boy to football training then dug a walk.

  5. Guido 8 years ago

    Paul, Tam Coooowan tells me hes got “hunners of Coop stories” and the crossbar story “has been embellished somewhat over the years, but I stand by it!”. Says his best one, and “you’ll need to see me in after dinner mode to do it justice was on his debut v Killie for M’well in 1989”. ;-) Tam’s no scared to market hissel/seel tickets!! :-)

    • Mr Fixit 8 years ago

      Guido, the man’s a legend with his bank manager. I’ll ask him about the Killie v Well tale next time I see him.

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