Indian Premier League: We round up what’s been going on in the IPL

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The halfway stage is fast approaching in this season’s Indian Premier League.

We’ve already seen some top-quality action from the world’s most explosive Twenty20 competition.

And with plenty more still to come, we’ve rounded up what’s been going on in the IPL so far, and who could be lifting the trophy in Mumbai next month…

Who’s been lighting things up?

Inevitably, Chris Gayle is the name on everyone’s lips.

The West Indies star may not top the table for most runs scored, but an explosive 104 not out against Sunrisers Hyderabad puts him at the top for most entertaining player to watch.

Gayle clumped 11 sixes in that match and has 21 in total already this season.

Andre Russell is hot on his heels with 19 maximums, although it’s Shane Watson who holds the league’s top-score with 106 against Rajasthan Royals.

Andrew Tye and Trent Boult are out in front where bowling is concerned. The pair have taken nine wickets apiece from six matches each.

Englishmen abroad

No fewer than 12 English players are currently contracted to teams in the IPL.

Rajasthan currently have the most Englishmen among their ranks, with Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler and fast-medium bowler Jofra Archer all playing regularly for the Jaipur-based side.

Archer finished took three wickets for 32 runs in his first start earlier this week as the Royals beat off the Mumbai Indians.

Stokes is the highest-scoring English batsman so far, ahead of Buttler (110) and Jason Roy, who made an unbeaten 91 against Mumbai in the opening match, but has struggled since.

Liam Plunkett boasts the league’s best economy rate (albeit having played only one match), while Chris Woakes is the leading English wicket taker with eight for the Royal Challengers Bangalore.

All-rounder David Willey will be looking to catch Woakes and Roy in their respective fields after joining the Chennai Super Kings last week.

Who wins the league?

At the halfway stage, Kings XI Punjab and the Chennai Super Kings are the teams to beat.

Both sides have only been beaten once, although it’s the King XI who sit atop the pile courtesy of having played a game more.

Brad Hodge’s side have never won the IPL. They’re the 3/1 favourites for a maiden success in 2018.

Chennai are their nearest challengers at 7/2, ahead of the Royal Challengers Bangalore at 9/2.

Kolkata Knight Riders continue to stutter but have made the play-offs in five of the last seven seasons. They can’t be ruled out at 11/2, alongside Sunrisers Hyderabad.

Mumbai (10/1), Rajasthan (12/1) and the rock-bottom Delhi Daredevils (25/1) make up the rest of the market.

 All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing

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