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With almost every game having a possible impact on the qualification, the final week of the Indian Premier League's round-robin stage promises to be intense. KXIP are going through a terrible phase and despite a brilliant first-half, they stand at the brink of elimination. Up against them in their next game will be Mumbai Indians, who, contrastingly, have done tremendously well in the second half of the season. A loss for either team will mean that they'd need to rely on other teams for results to go in their favor. The matter for KXIP is a little worse due to their inferior run-rate which might come into the final qualification picture. Mumbai Indians will host Kings XI Punjab at Wankhede Stadium on 16th May 2018.
Despite a poor start to the tournament where they suffered a string of last-over losses left the Mumbai Indians with too much ground to cover during the fag end of the competition. The momentum they gathered prior to their last game came to a grinding halt against Rajasthan Royals.
Mumbai Indians were once against found in a familiar territory as their openers, Suryakumar Yadav and Evin Lewis, got them off to a terrific start. Jofra Archer got rid of Suryakumar Yadav and Rohit Sharma on consecutive deliveries which stopped the flow of runs. Krunal Pandya could not weave his magic with the bat and perished while trying to hoick a length ball over mid-wicket.
Mumbai Indians were at 86 for no loss at the halfway-stage through their innings and managed to score just 82 in the final ten. Despite picking up D'Arcy Short early, Mumbai bowlers didn't stand much of a chance due to superb batting by Jos Buttler and Ajinkya Rahane in the middle overs.
Mumbai have done well to bounce back into the contention for the playoff spot. They'd need to sort out the problems with their middle order and define a role for JP Duminy, who at 6-down is a wasted resource. If they can do that, they can certainly keep themselves alive in the tournament.
SA Yadav, Evin Lewis, Rohit Sharma, Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Ben Cutting, MJ Mcclenaghan, Mayank Markande, JJ Bumrah.
Kings XI Punjab's dependency on their top-two was once again validated after they were bundled out for a paltry total of 88. After a reasonable start of 36 by KL Rahul and Chris Gayle, Kings XI Punjab lost their final eight wickets in a matter of just 52 runs.
Punjab have lost two matches in a row with both bowling and batting collapsing in that order. Their bowlers were smashed for 245 runs against Kolkata Knight Riders and while they'd hoped for a better outing against Royal Challengers Bangalore, the failure of their batting didn't help. Bowlers were left to defend a paltry total which RCB achieved without any fuss.
Apparently, Kings XI Punjab have run out of luck and have nothing going for them. However, they have no one but themselves to blame for the do-or-die situation they're in. Their middle order hasn't fired since the start of the tournament. Although their middle order failure was visible from the beginning of the tournament, superb batting from Chris Gayle and KL Rahul overshadowed those failures. Kings XI Punjab will once again need KL Rahul and Chris Gayle to come good with their middle-order and bowlers struggling.
Lokesh Rahul, Chris Gayle, Aaron Finch, Y Singh, MK Tiwary, Marcus Stoinis, Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, AJ Tye, Mohit Sharma, AS Rajpoot.
Dew plays a major role in the evening games at Wankhede Stadium, due to which captains are expected to field after winning the toss
Read our guide on toss predictions to learn how we analyze and come up with our tips.
Wankhede Stadium is known for it's batting wicket where it's often tough to set a score while batting first. Batting second is easier here with dew playing a vital role. Expect a high-scoring match with a par-score in the range of 180-190.
The fate of both the sides rests on the outcome if this match. Both the teams will strive hard to register a win in the tournament. While Mumbai Indians will still have an outside chance even after they lose this, it will be curtains for KXIP, if Mumbai wins. With a possible playoff spot at stake, expect both sides to come out all guns blazing. Mumbai's batting paradise pitch will suit Chris Gayle's and KL Rahul's style of batting, but their struggling middle order will concern them. Mumbai Indians have gathered some momentum in the latter half of the tournament and the fact that they are playing at home makes them the favorites to win this match.