Mumbai Indians v KKR, Friday 18th May Bangalore
The two sides meet on Friday for the right to play the Rising Pune Supergiants on Sunday in the IPL Final
Pune beat Mumbai in their first Qualifier to go direct to the final. Chasing 163, Mumbai were off to a flier but Washington Sundar turned it Pune’s way with a spell of 3/16. Parthiv Patel was the only substantial contributor for Mumbai with a fifty at top of the order and Mumbai fell twenty runs short of their target, for their third loss tone this season.
For the team that finished top of the league table and had home advantage in the first qualifier this is a disappointment but they get another chance here.
KKR defeated Sunrisers Hyderabad in a rain-affected IPL Eliminator by seven wickets via Duckworth Lewis System to reach Qualifier 2. The match that began at 8:00 pm (IST) on Wednesday finished close to 1:30 am (IST) Thursday thanks to a lengthy rain delay that kept both the teams waiting for close to 2.5 hours after SRH were restricted to 128/7. When the match finally resumed at 12:55 am (IST), as per the D/L method, KKR were left to chase a revised target of 48 in six overs which they achieved at the cost of three wickets in 5.2 overs.
It was a slow pitch but even so 128 was never likely to be competitive. KKR put up a brilliant bowling display with paceman Nathan Coulter-Nile taking three wickets and becoming man of the match.
Qualifier 2 is at the same venue on Friday and if it is the same sort of pitch could be another low scoring tense game. As to who that favours, its unclear. Both sides have big hitting batsmen who can generate their own power and both bowling line ups are strong. It could be as simple as gaining the advantage by winning the toss and chasing a target as KKR did in the Sunrisers game.
KKR have several match winners in their batting order, Lynn, Gambhir and Uthappa plus a deep and competitive bowling line up. Mumbai probably have the more explosive bowling with McClenaghan and Bumrah but a batting line up that delivers less frequently. So it’s a tough call.
This is all reflected in prevailing prices for the game with the bookmakers who make up the game 10/11 each of two. In terms of a recommendation, will tentatively suggest KKR who played on this pitch on Wednesday, but without a lot of confidence. It could be very close.