Betting agencies in form for WC finale; India rules

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Dhoni-Sangakkara
Mumbai, Apr 2: India is gripped by the cricketing frenzy and starting at 2:30pm on Saturday people will experience palpitation, baited breath and will generally have the feeling of being wound up. For a cricket-crazy nation, this phenomenon comes as no surprise when India plays Sri Lanka to vie for the Cup of Hope at the Wankhede Stadium.

But beside the hard core cricket fans there are the bookies who are also awaiting the World Cup finale with baited breaths. The betting syndicates are also on overdrive to cash in on the frenzy. With the bookies escalating operations after India stormed in to the finals after beating Pakistan, the excitement is only multiplying.

Betting sites have upped their game by a couple of notches like Betfair, Bet365 and Ladbrokes that are offering 60 paisa per rupee for advantage of India and Rs 1.50 for every one rupee in favour of Sri Lanka. With the inclusion of Muthiah Muralitharan in the rival squad, the odds have heightened in this battle of nerves that has millions of people praying for their favourites.

India appear to be the clear favourites for the punters with those in the betting circles keeping a close eye on the developments in the team composition that will affect the money involved in it as well. While the rates were altered when it was decided that Murali was going to play against India, the odds were down by 50 paisa, while the odds for a Lankan victory was Rupees 1.60.

The master blaster Sachin Tendulkar's expected ton in the World Cup match has also led to lots of bets placed on him. While he missed his 100th century by a whisker in the semi-final match against Pakistan, the bookies are confident that he will attain the unique recognition against Sri Lanka this time around. Sachin's century along with Indian bringing home the cup is available at combined odds of 8/1 on Betfair. They also seem to be rooting heavily on Yuvraj Singh and Virender Sehwag's century possibility with odds of 6-to-1.

All one can say is that while the men in blue has impressed the public with their performance to-date, the betting agencies are also counting on their stellar performance. Bleed Blue Indian team!

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