MI vs KKR: Runs, wickets, plenty of drama & absolute cricketing joy. That’s what the Indian Premier League brings on to the plate every time it arrives. The league games are about to come to an end & the top 4 haven’t been decided yet. There still one slot left & the 56th fixture of the twelfth season of this pompous event will confirm the fourth participant in the playoffs. Chennai battle against the Northern Kings & that to cement their place at the top of the table. Mumbai, though, have made it to the playoffs but have plenty to play for. They’ll be going for a win instead of a safe game plan.
The 3-time champions have accumulated 16 points so far & a win here will take them to the 2nd spot, basis, a better run-rate. They hung by the thread against the Sunrisers & beat them in a super over. Can they pull out another masterclass at home? It literally doesn’t get any better than this. They’ve won 4 of their last 7 games & against the mercurial Knight Riders, the concern graph is bound to go upwards.
CONDITIONS FOR KKR TO QUALIFY
Well, there’s not many numbers to ponder about for the Kolkata unit. They win, they go through. They lose, they go home. It’s as simple as that. IPL 2019 has been a topsy-turvy journey for the Knights. They started off incredibly, winning 4 of their 5 games and then the unprecedented lull hit them hard. KKR lost the next 6 games on the trot. Only when desperation was the need of the hour did they retaliate like they were supposed to. A win here will take them to number 4 on the points table, with 14 points. A divine intervention also will work in their favour but the rain gods don’t seem interested. Should they falter, SRH will make it through to the playoffs.
WHEN: 5th of May 2019, Sunday
WHERE: Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai
Kick-Off Time: 8:00 PM
Kolkata have an abysmal record against the Mumbai Indians in the IPL. Out of the 24 times the two teams have met, Mumbai have gone on to win a staggering 18 times. For the quality, KKR possess, that’s a colossal percentage of defeats. This year, the game against Mumbai was the 6-match losing streak breaker for KKR. Kolkata batted first & hammered the Indians for 232/2 in their allotted overs. Shubman Gill, Chris Lynn chipped in with scores of 76 & 54 but the most brutal damage was done by that man again. Yes, he’s got a name. And he stands by the name of Andre Russell. The big Caribbean lad scored 80* off 40 & picked an important 2-for.
Mumbai did start of terribly but the innings was given substance by the hard-hitting Hardik Pandya. He clobbered the Knights for an impressive 91 off 34 deliveries.
The stage is set for two of the cleanest strikers in world cricket to do what they do best? But, who’ll strike harder?
Chennai scored the lowest score on this ground this year. A mere 133/8. Barring that solitary run drought, the Wankhede pitch has been conducive for batting. The highest score here, 213/6 by the Delhi Capitals in Mumbai’s very first fixture of IPL 2019. Mumbai chased down 198 against KXIP & RR managed to draw 2 points batting second on this turf. The target then was 188. Chasing is the very immediate option the skippers think of on this wicket & the MI vs KKR fixture won’t be any different. Win the toss & chase on this wicket.
KKR will remain unchanged for this fixture. They wouldn’t want to tweak around with a winning combination.
Mumbai, however, will look to make a couple of changes. Evin Lewis & Barinder Sran might be replaced by Beuran Hendricks & Ishan Kishan.
EXPECTED PLAYING XI
Quinton de Kock(w), Rohit Sharma(c), Evin Lewis/Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Barinder Sran/Beuran Hendricks, Rahul Chahar, Jasprit Bumrah, Lasith Malinga.
KOLKATA KNIGHT RIDERS
Chris Lynn, Shubman Gill, Robin Uthappa, Nitish Rana, Dinesh Karthik(w/c), Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Rinku Singh, Kuldeep Yadav/Piyush Chawla, Sandeep Warrier, Harry Gurney
FANFIGHT FANTASY CRICKET TEAMS FOR MI vs KKR
Hardik Pandya’s strike-rate this year has been 198.95 while Andre Russell’s is marginally better than Pandya’s. 205.64.
Pandya averages 47.50 while Russell runs/innings is a high 63.75
The Mumbai all-rounder hits a six every 6.3 balls and Andre Russell deposits one over the fence every 3.7 deliveries.
Mumbai have won 6 off their 9 matches batting first this season. The likes of Jasprit Bumrah & Lasith Malinga are a luxury to have when scores have to be defended.
Rohit Sharma is all set to play his 150th IPL game for Mumbai Indians & KKR’s skipper Dinesh Karthik is only 2 catches away from hitting the 150 mark.
TV – Star Sports 1, Star Sports 1 HD, Star Sports 1 Select HD
Live Streaming – Hotstar
Match Timings – 20:00 IST
Prediction: The prediction is for Mumbai Indians to win the match.
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