About the Match
A scintillating win against Kings XI has put Mumbai Indians back on track and they will now look to climb up the table when they meet Kolkata Knight Riders at Mumbai on 28th April. KKR is in the top spot with 8 points from 5 matches while the hosts have garnered 6 points now from 7 outings; the visitors come at the back of a win against Supergiants and will look to consolidate their position.
A fantastic partnership of 137 runs between Rayudu and Parthiv Patel helped them post 189 runs against Kings XI; while Patel made a comeback into form with a superb knock of 81 from 58 balls, Rayudu continued his good performance with the bat by scoring 65 from just 37 deliveries. Jos Buttler also contributed well with 24 and the bowlers went on to successfully defend the total. Bumrah registered a brilliant figure of 3-26, dismissing key batsmen while McClenaghan and Southee took 2 wickets each to stifle the opponents and help win the match by 25 runs.
When they had met KKR earlier in the tournament, Rohit Sharma had led from the front, scoring a brilliant 84 from 54 deliveries while Patel and Buttler ensured to keep the scoreboard ticking and steer the team towards victory with 5 balls to spare. The bowlers had been expensive and they will need to contain the KKR batsmen here with a better strategy; McClenaghan had found success in that match as he took 2-25 while Hardik Pandya and Harbhajan Singh had provided required breakthroughs.
Overall, they are a strong unit and the home advantage could help them dominate on the field against KKR this time around too; Patel, Rayudu and Rohit Sharma will be crucial for the batting performance and they must come out all guns blazing to pose a tough challenge.
Kolkata Knight Riders
They are reigning supreme at the top of the table with 3 consecutive wins ever since they lost the match against Mumbai Indians back at home; bowlers Narine, Shakib Al Hasan, Umesh Yadav and Satish provided regular breakthroughs to restrict Supergiants to 160 in the last match and the batsmen led by Suryakumar Yadav’s heroic 60 off 49 led them to victory yet again. Yusuf Pathan’s 36 off 27 was commendable at a time when the team had lost important wickets like those of Gambhir, Uthappa and Shakib.
In the match against Kings XI, the bowlers combined their skills to restrict the opponent to 138, which the batsmen had gunned down easily thanks to a superb 53 from 28 by Uthappa and a well-made 34 by Gambhir. Morkel and Umesh Yadav had taken 3 wickets between them while spinners Chawla and Narine along with Pathan had caused 4 dismissals.
Their only defeat till now has come against the opponent they are about to face on Thursday and they will be well prepared to wreak havoc on the hosts; with in-form batsmen like Uthappa, Gambhir, Russell, S Yadav and Yusuf Pathan, KKR will try to post a competitive total if batting first. The bowlers too have gelled well as a team and we can expect quite many tricks from Narine and company.
While KKR have proved to be a formidable force to reckon with, they have been defeated earlier by Mumbai Indians; the contest could surely go down to the wire but we feel that the hosts are better placed to win the match on Thursday.