Man of the Match: Hardik Pandya
Experienced Mumbai Indians to face powerful Kolkata Knight Riders at home in a crucial final encounter before playoffs.
Our prediction is that Mumbai Indians will beat Kolkata Knight Riders in the last league game at home.
The league stage of IPL 2019 is coming to an end. Three teams – Chennai Super Kings, Delhi Capitals, and Mumbai Indians have made it to the playoffs already. Only one spot is available and 4 teams are in contention. Kolkata Knight Riders, who will play Mumbai in their last league game, are one of the contenders.
The Knight Riders are at 12 points after 13 matches. A win will make them to playoffs if the Sunrisers lose their last league match. KKR have every reason to go all out in the final league match against Mumbai.
Mumbai Indians, on the other hand, are eying a place in top two teams after the league stage. At home they look confident with 4 wins in 6 matches and have already made it to the playoffs there is very little pressure on them against KKR.
Mumbai Indians became the third team to qualify for the playoffs after Chennai Super Kings and Delhi Capitals in IPL 2019. Mumbai Indians beat Sunrisers Hyderabad in a thrilling encounter that went to super over after the teams were tied at the end of the two innings. Mumbai needed just three balls of the super over to win the game and a place in playoffs.
Mumbai Indians have been consistent this season never letting a string of losses to creep in as the tournament progressed. As a result, they have secured a place in playoffs with one match still to go. In their last game against Sunrisers Hyderabad, Mumbai Indians reached 162 in 20 overs thanks to 69 runs by Quinton de Kock. Manish Pandey from SRH counterattacked with 71 of his own at a much better strike rate of about 150. Eventually, he was the one to hit a six when 7 were needed off the last over.
The Super Over though belonged to Mumbai Indian who scored the required runs with 3 balls to spare. De Kock and Sharma at the top whereas Pollard and Pandya in the middle makes a balanced MI squad. The bowling revolves around Jasprit Bumrah and Pandya brothers. Mumbai would want a win to get cement a place in the top two before the playoffs.
RG Sharma (c), Q de Kock (wk), SA Yadav, E Lewis, HH Pandya, KA Pollard, KH Pandya, BB Sran, RD Chahar, SL Malinga, JJ Bumrah
Mitchell McClenaghan, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Hardik Pandya, JJ Bumrah, Lasith Malinga, Rahul Chahar, Ishan Kishan, Quinton de Kock, Rohit Sharma, SA Yadav
The Knight Riders are holding on for their place in the playoff. But only just. After 6 consecutive losses, they have bounced back with a couple of wins. They still have a hope to make it to the playoff if they beat Mumbai in the last league game of the season.
They had a decent start to this year’s IPL with 4 wins in 5 matches. However, thereafter they lost 6 matches in succession, same as RCB at the start of the season. RCB failed to make it, but KKR have a realistic chance. In their last league match against KXIP, they were phenomenal. Chasing a target of 188, KKR managed to get there with a couple of overs to spare. Thanks to Shubman Gill (65) and Lynn (46) at the top of the order.
Lynn, Gill, and Uthappa are looking phenomenal at the top with master blaster Russell and experienced Dinesh Karthik looking set in the middle order. KKR’s bowling has more often than not let them down. They would be hoping for a decent outing for their bowlers against Mumbai because their batting has the capability demolish the opposition.
KD Karthik (c&wk), Shubman Gill, CA Lynn, RV Uthappa, AD Russell, , SP Narine, N Rana, RK Singh, PP Chawla, HF Gurney, S Sandeep Warrier
Sunil Narine, RV Uthappa, Shubman Gill, Dinesh Karthik, SS Warrier, Chris Lynn, RK Singh, Nitish Rana, Prasidh Krishna, Harry Gurney, Andre Russell
The wicket prepared for this game will be good for batting. Expect quick bowlers to get some assistance from the pitch. The weather forecast for the game on Sunday is going to be clear skies.
Kings XI Punjab has managed to win four out of six games played at Mohali. The side lost their previous game against Kolkata Knight Riders. Kings XI Punjab will take heart from the fact they won their previous game played against Chennai at Mohali.
Thus, the team winning the Toss should look to Bowl first here to restrict the opposition to as low a score as possible and then, it should look to get there in better batting conditions in the second half.
Mumbai Indians have made it to the playoffs and now they are eying the top position. The Knight Riders need a win under their belt in order to qualify. Despite being the last league match of the season, the result has the possibility of changing the playoffs' setup. Mumbai at home look more experienced and their bowling has been superior to that of the Knight Riders.
Thus, our prediction is that Mumbai Indians will beat Kolkata Knight Riders!
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