After a thrilling second Qualifier, KXIP made it through to sunday’s final to play KKR, to see who will win IPL7

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Kolkota Knight Riders to win the IPL final at 6/5 William Hill

After KKR beat KXIP in the first qualifier earlier in the week, KXIP faced Chennai for the right to face KKR in the final and what a game it was with Virender Sehwag, in no form whatsoever all IPL, rolling back the years with a 58 ball 122 to lead KXIP comfortably over 200 in their innings. Despite heroics from Raina, KXIP held on to win by just over 20 runs and make the final

The final could well be a very different game. Last week KKR scored 163 and KXIP fell 25 short and it will be interesting to see if KXIP can replicate their fantastic semi-final effort here. After all, Sehwag’s once in a tournament performance is likely to be exactly that, and below that the problems that began to emerge in the tail-end of the group stages were sill present against CSK. The weight of runs from Maxwell and Miller is less than it was, and on the bowling front as CSK getting so close in an enormous chase showed, there is less form and less control.

Opposed to this KKR have been the model of consistency in the second half of the IPL. Recovering from losing their first five games by winning now nine in a row with three key performers driving the side to unexpected heights. Robin Uthappa has ten consecutive scores over 40 on his way t0 655 runs in the tournament, a T20 record worldwide. Shakib Al Hasan has contributed with bat and ball and most of all spinner Sunil Narine has taken 20 wickets

Narine’s participation in the final was in doubt due to the WCIB’s insistence that he choose between franchise and country ahead of the forthcoming test series against New Zealand starting next week but in a huge boost to KKR Narine has chosen to play the final. No IPL side has mastered his variations and he has conceded just 6 runs an over during 60 overs bowling in the tournament, a fine achievement when it is considered he often bowls in the later stages

This match then is a classic tussle between the more “boom and bust” style of KXIP where big players come off on individual occasions and the teamwork, togetherness and more consistent performances of KKR 1 through 11.

A one-off game, and likely to be close. KXIP are priced as 4/5 favourites, KKR as 6/5 underdogs. Te value here is clear and it lies with KKR. Of course, as Sehwag showed, in a big game a big performance can skew a game dramatically but through the team want to be with the more consistent side, who also happen to have the top runscorer and top spinner in the competition

Recommendation

Kolkota Knight Riders to win the IPL final at 6/5 William Hill