About the Match
It’s been a tough season this year and teams are going through a roller-coaster ride trying to get to the top four slot on the points table; Mumbai Indians with 12 points are at the 6th position and will go up against KKR, who are placed 2nd with 15 points, on 14th May at Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai. The hosts lost their last match against RCB and slipped down to 6th place and a loss here would jeopardise their chances of making it to the next stage; they need to win their remaining two matches to qualify for the playoffs. On the other hand, a confident KKR will look to continue their rollicking form as they lock horns with MI on Thursday.
Mumbai snapped from their winning run with a 39-run defeat against RCB after failing to chase the mammoth total of 236. They kept fighting with Lendl Simmons remaining unbeaten on 68 off 53 while Kieron Pollard played a whirlwind innings to revive Mumbai’s chances as he smashed 49 off 24 but they fell short by 39 runs. On the bowling front, they had an off day on the field with below par bowling and fielding performance. In their previous match, they beat CSK by 6 wickets to hand the hosts their first loss at the Chepauk Stadium since 2013. The Mumbai players stepped up to the occasion and exhibited individual brilliance; Hardik Pandya’s pyrotechnics in the slog overs piloted MI to a thrilling win while Simmons and Parthiv Patel also played their parts with a fine opening stand. Overall, they have many talented players in the team to bounce back against KKR in the upcoming match if MI can get off to a superb start. They have a fine middle order with a nice blend of experience and aggression with Rohit, Rayudu and Pollard. On the bowling front, Lasith Malinga is now available to reclaim his spot in the line-up while Harbhajan Singh has been economical with ball.
Kolkata Knight Riders
KKR beat KXIP by 1 wicket in their last match after losing quick wickets in the chase for 184; Yusuf Pathan and Andre Russell turned on the heat at just the right time with the latter hitting a 21-ball 51 while Pathan scored 29 off 19. Sunil Narine was the most successful as he conceded only 19 runs and picked up 4 wickets. They also won their previous match against DD by 13 runs with Pathan blasting 42 off 24 while Uthappa smashed 32 off 31 to help KKR post a challenging total. Piyush Chawla picked up 4-32 and made it difficult for Delhi to chase the target. Overall, KKR is a formidable side to defeat with Gambhir and Uthappa able to provide solid starts; Pathan and Russell have used their power to muscle the bowlers around. The return of Narine is the biggest strength for the team while Umesh Yadav has been impressive with the ball and has found able allies in Russell, Hogg and Chawla.
The match is expected to be keenly contested as both KKR and Mumbai Indians are the two most popular teams this season. The teams are well-balanced with match-winners but we feel that the Mumbai Indians might just sneak in with a victory here.