About the Match
Mumbai Indians and Kings XI Punjab occupy the first and fifth positions respectively in the IPL points table. These two teams will now take on each other in the 51st match of the league at Mumbai on 11th May. On one hand, Mumbai has already qualified for the playoffs and would want to continue their momentum with a win here; on the other, Punjab need this win at any cost to make sure they remain on track for that coveted playoff berth.
Mumbai Indians have had an amazing season. They have lost only three 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 faced with 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.
This winning streak came to halt in their last game though, where Mumbai lost to an inspired Hyderabad side. But this loss should not deter Mumbai too much. Mumbai’s batting has been very good throughout, 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 with the kind of form they are bringing into this game; they would pose a very stringent challenge for Punjab.
Kings XI Punjab
Punjab had started their campaign with wins in their first two matches at their second home, Indore, but then went on to lose four games in a row. Punjab began with an emphatic win over Pune, and then continued their run in the next match with an absolute thrashing of Royal Challengers Bangalore.
But as they moved away from home, they lost the next three matches to Kolkata, Delhi and Hyderabad. In their next game against Mumbai, even a return to Indore could not change their fortunes, and they ended up on the losing side.
After four consecutive losses, Punjab were finally able to find a win against Gujarat in their next match. This win did not result in a complete change of fortunes though, as Punjab, missing an injured Amla desperately, surrendered meekly against Hyderabad.
Their see-saw campaign continued in their next match against Delhi, where they absolutely mauled the Daredevils. They continued their ascent in the points table in their next match as well, with a victory over a hapless Bangalore.
In their next game though, Punjab lost to Gujarat, but then went on to defeat Kolkata in their last game on Tuesday. This win was a complete team performance and has kept Punjab in the tournament for now.
Punjab have now got six wins out of twelve games, and need to win their remaining two games in order to stay in contention. They seem to have found the right combination which gives them the right balance, and now must utilize the momentum they have got to seal their spot in the top four.
Mumbai and Punjab are facing each other for the second time this season, and the match being held in Mumbai, offers home advantage to the Mumbai Indians. Mumbai have had a stellar season so far, and have already beaten Punjab once, and all these factors give them the upper hand in this contest.