About the Match
The T20 extravaganza is getting closer and closer to the deciding day. We now move to Eden Gardens, Kolkata, where Rajasthan Royals will take on Mumbai Indians on 24th May 2013 for a place in finals. Mumbai Indians lost in the first playoff to Chennai Super Kings whereas Rajasthan Royals registered a win against Sunrisers Hyderabad to make a place in the qualifier. The winner of this qualifier will meet Chennai Super Kings in what would be the ultimate clash for the trophy on 26th May. Both Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan Royals haven’t lost a game at home, but this is a neutral venue, different conditions, but it would be an interesting contest nonetheless.
Amidst all the news and controversies of spot-fixing, Rajasthan Royals have risen up and performed well to earn a spot in the qualifier. They won against Sunrisers in their previous game, but it wasn’t as comfortable a win as they’d have wanted. Brad Hodge played a brilliant innings when things were going the way they went in their last league game against the same side. Rajasthan Royals’ bowling was remarkable on a pitch which was good for batting. Faulkner and Watson bowled brilliantly and were supported well by the local lads. Rahul Dravid and Rahane seemed to be back in the touch they looked to be earlier in the tournament and Watson looked as good as ever till he was in the middle. Rajasthan Royals may not have many big names like CSK and MI, but they surely have the steam to topple any team out.
Mumbai Indians haven’t been in the best of their form in the last couple of games. First they lost to Kings XI Punjab at Dharamshala and then to Chennai Super Kings in the first qualifier. After the injury of Sachin Tendulkar, the Indians seem to have lost the balance and experience they really wanted at the top of the order. Dwayne Smith showed his skills with the bat, but there was no one to complement and soon after Mumbai Indians were all out second time in succession. Lasith Malinga hasn’t been impressive by his standards. Harbhajan Singh has bowled well and his and Ojha’s spell will be crucial in the upcoming game. Mumbai Indians is one of the strongest sides on paper and it can be really tough to get past them.
It would be the battle between the blues and definitely a very intense one. Rajasthan Royals are looking well set to make it to the final for second time in IPL history and Mumbai Indians too would be eyeing the final spot. Mumbai Indians haven’t looked quite convincing in their last couple of games and it appears to be a case of peaking a little early. They seem to have lost the balance after Sachin’s injury and their batting performance reflects that. The Royals have performed well and due to the downfall in Mumbai Indians’ recent performance, I’d place my money on them.
Rajasthan Royals, 2.30 @ Bet365