Unstoppable Aaron Finch the star for early IPL leaders

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Last year may have ended in controversy over match-fixing scandals, but the ninth IPL season is underway and the ball-smashing action is as good as ever.

Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals begin the first of a two-year ban after being found guilty of corruption and match-fixing, but replacements rookies Gujarat Lions and Rising Pune Supergiants aren’t wasting any time getting stuck in.

Indeed the Lions have flown out of the blocks to win their opening three fixtures.

They’re next in action against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Thursday, and are 4/7 to make it four wins from four.

Aussie ball-smasher Aaron Finch has hit a 74, a 50, and a 67 so far in his three appearances this year, and he’s 9/4 to be top Gujarat runscorer for the fourth match in succession.

Royal Challengers Bangalore are in action tomorrow, and if they continue their high-scoring ways it could be a thrilling contest against Mumbai Indians.

Bangalore fired in a huge 227 runs in their opening win over Hyderabad, and were unfortunate not to see off Delhi Daredevils too after posting 191.

Indeed the Royal Challengers have hit two of the competition’s three highest scorers, with AB De Villiers hitting 82 in the Sunrisers win and Virat Kohli 79 versus Delhi.

Kohli is 2/1 to top scorer again for Bangalore, with de Villiers 9/4 and some fellow called Chris Gayle 3/1.

Mumbai haven’t impressed this year, losing three of their four matches thus far, and their hopes rest on either a much-impressed bowling performance, or some assistance to Rohit Sharma with the bat.

The Indians are 6/5 for victory, with the hard-hitters Bangalore favourites for Wednesday’s tie at 4/6.

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

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Richard Marsh

Richard loves his sport, especially if it involves the sound of tyres screaming around a race track. He's not fussy though and his '90s Premier League nostalgia and knowledge of team nicknames is tough to match.