About the Match
So this is how things stand before the penultimate game of IPL 2017. Two teams, Mumbai Indians, and Kolkata Knight Riders, both of whom have been very consistent throughout, will take on each other in the Qualifier 2 of the IPL at Bangalore on 19th May. These two sides will face off for the right to face Pune in the final of the IPL which will be held on 21st May in Hyderabad, and both would be equally desperate to not miss out after reaching so close to the ultimate prize.
Mumbai lost to Pune in the qualifier 1, but otherwise, they have had an amazing season this year. They had lost a total of only four games in the entire league stage and had finished as the top ranked team in the league. 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 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 got a little complacent, and as a result suffered losses in their next two matches against Hyderabad and Punjab.
But in their last league game against Kolkata, Mumbai was clinical with both bat and ball and scored an important win before heading into the playoffs. Despite this momentum though, they could not overcome Pune in the qualifier 1, and now find themselves in a must-win game against Kolkata.
Mumbai’s batting has been very good throughout, with 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, makes Mumbai a very strong unit on paper, and with their sights set at the final, they will definitely pose a very stringent challenge for Kolkata.
Kolkata Knight Riders
Kolkata defeated the defending champions Hyderabad in the eliminator on Wednesday in a very dominating and convincing fashion, and will now play Mumbai in the qualifier 2. Kolkata Knight Riders had finished the league stage as the fourth-ranked team in the points table after they were able to win eight out of the fourteen games they played in the league stage.
Kolkata had 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 defeats against Punjab and Mumbai in their last two league games. But despite these losses, they performed when it really mattered, and defeated Hyderabad in the eliminator.
Kolkata Knight Riders have been one of the form teams of the tournament throughout, and their fourth position in the points table was only due to two unfortunate losses in their last two league games. Their batsmen have all got runs at different stages of the tournament till now, and the bowling has been performing well as a unit, and the manner of their win against Hyderabad in the eliminator makes them very realistic favorites to win the tournament.
Mumbai and Kolkata have already faced each other twice in this season and the Mumbai Indians won both the games. This match is being held in Bangalore, and so none of the teams will have any home advantage. Both these teams have had great seasons, and both would be looking to make it through to the finals in this do or die game. But Mumbai has the confidence of having beaten Kolkata twice already, and this gives them a slight upper hand in this contest.