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IPL 2019 | Kolkata Knight Riders Live on A Win And A Prayer Against Mumbai Indians

Cricketnext Staff |May 5, 2019, 9:33 AM IST
IPL 2019 | Kolkata Knight Riders Live on A Win And A Prayer Against Mumbai Indians

Kolkata Knight Riders have their backs to the ball, but also their fate in their own hands. Sunrisers Hyderabad losing to Royal Challengers Bangalore on Saturday has made the equation will straightforward for KKR — beat Mumbai Indians in their final match in Mumbai and book their Playoff berth.

If KKR lose, SRH will be the fourth team to qualify. Kings XI Punjab too have a mathematical chance to qualify, but it's only an arithmetic possibility given their inferior net run rate.

Both MI and KKR have big incentives to win their final league game of the IPL-12 season. Mumbai, who have already booked their Playoff berth would look to clinch the second spot on the table and ensure they get at least two cracks to reach the IPL-12 final.

KKR looked pumped up against Kings XI Punjab in their last game on Friday night. Shubman Gill is starting to look comfortable in the opening position with a couple of fifties under his belt now and 287 runs in 13 games this season. He has formed a fine opening partnership with Australian Chris Lynn in the second half of this season.

The real dangerman for KKR comes down the order in the form of Andre Russell. The towering West Indian all-rounder has crossed 500 runs for the season with the bat — 510 runs and a strike-rate of 205.84. If KKR need to keep one eye on the run-rate against MI, Russell might just be the man for the situation.

Mumbai’s answer to Russell this season has been all-rounder Hardik Pandya. The younger of the Pandya brothers has been in sublime form with the bat, scoring 373 runs at a strike-rate of over 197.

The home side also have the advantage of a superior bowling attack featuring Jasprit Bumrah and Lasith Malinga and KKR would have their task cut out on Sunday night.

Players to watch out for

Hardik Pandya: The MI all-rounder has been in sensational form with the bat. Pandya has made up for his inconsistencies with the ball by his hitting prowess in the end. Along with Russell, the big-hitting of Pandya has been one of the highlights of IPL-12.

Shubman Gill: That the youngster is talented was never in doubt. After being moved up and down the order through the season, Gill has found his calling at the top of the order as an opener. A 76 against the same opposition in Kolkata, a couple of matches ago was a turning point for 19-year-old.

Team News/Availability:

MI: Evin Lewis’s form will be a concern for Mumbai. Ben Cutting could be tried out in his place providing another bowling option to the side as well.

KKR: The side did most things right against Kings XI in their last match and would not like to tinker too much with the winning combination.

Probable XI:

MI: Rohit Sharma (captain), Quinton de Kock (wk), Suryakumar Yadav, Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Rahul Chahar, Jasprit Bumrah, Evin Lewis/ Ben Cutting, Jayant Yadav and Lasith Malinga

KKR: Dinesh Karthik (C), Robin Uthappa, Chris Lynn, Shubman Gill, Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Piyush Chawla, Nitish Rana, Sandeep Warrier, Harry Gurney and Rinku Singh

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