About the Match
Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders occupy the first and second positions respectively in the IPL points table. These two teams will now take on each other in the 54th match of the league at Kolkata on 13th May. On one hand, Mumbai has already qualified for the playoffs and would want to seal a top-two finish with a win here; on the other, Kolkata, though practically through, need this win to officially seal their place in the playoffs.
Kolkata Knight Riders
Kolkata Knight Riders are currently at the second position in the IPL points table. They have eight wins out of thirteen games played so far, but they suffered a loss in their last game against Punjab.
Kolkata started their campaign with an absolute thrashing of Gujarat Lions, and though they lost their next game against Mumbai, but were in it right until the end and lost only by a very small margin. Then Kolkata dominated Punjab and Hyderabad with convincing wins over both the teams.
Then against Delhi, they were taken to the limit by a disciplined Delhi attack but Kolkata was able to hold their nerves and get over the line. Against Gujarat, they could not find an answer to the all-around brilliance of Raina and suffered only their second defeat of the tournament. But they came back strongly against Bangalore, bowling them out for the lowest ever team total in IPL and then continued the momentum with a convincing win against Rising Pune Supergiant.
They completed a hat-trick of wins against Delhi but then went on to lose their next two games against Hyderabad and Pune. They were able to arrest this slide with a win against Bangalore in their next game but then suffered another defeat against Punjab in their last game.
Kolkata Knight Riders have been one of the form teams of the tournament throughout, and their position in the points table only amplifies this statement. Their batsmen have all got runs at different stages of the tournament, and the bowling has performed well as a unit, and although they lost their last match, they still remain one of the favorites to win the tournament.
Mumbai Indians have had an amazing season. They have lost only four games so far, and are the first team to have qualified for the playoffs. Surprisingly though, they had started their campaign with a loss against Pune. But after that game, Mumbai was able to find the right combination and went on to win six matches in a row, defeating Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Gujarat, Punjab and Delhi in the process.
But this winning run came to a halt when Mumbai had faced Pune again. They could not overcome Pune in their second meeting of the season either and suffered only their second loss. But after this game, Mumbai went on to win their next three games against Gujarat, Bangalore, and Delhi. After qualifying for the playoffs, however, they seem to have got a little complacent, and as a result, have suffered losses in their last two matches against Hyderabad and Punjab.
Mumbai’s batting has been very good thus far, with Nitish Rana, Pollard, Parthiv Patel, Jos Butler, Rohit Sharma, Simmons and Pandya brothers playing important roles at different times in different games.
Such a strong batting unit, along with a dependable bowling line up, has made Mumbai one of the favorites to win the tournament; and though they are coming into this game on the back of two consecutive losses, they will still pose a very stringent challenge for Kolkata.
Mumbai and Kolkata are facing each other for the second time this season, and the match being held in Kolkata, offers the home advantage to the Knight Riders. Both these teams have had extremely good seasons so far, but Mumbai have already beaten Kolkata once, and this gives them slight upper hand in this contest.