Needing wins to remain in the fray for the 2016 IPL playoffs, defending champions Mumbai Indians ticked off a big one Wednesday by beating Royal Challengers Bangalore by six wickets. On Friday, they face basement dwellers Kings XI Punjab in Visakhapatnam with hopes raised of moving from fourth to third on the points table.
Mumbai have struggled for consistency, as evident from a 6-5 record. Their wins have been by six wickets (four times), 25 runs and eight wickets; their losses by nine wickets, three wickets (off the last ball of the match), seven wickets, ten runs and 85 runs. To come off a dismal total of 92 versus leaders Sunrisers Hyderabad and beat RCB by six wickets is a big step forward, but now Rohit Sharma’s team must look to cripple a depleted KXIP by a sizable margin to boost their net run-rate of -0.346.
On the flip side, KXIP sit at the bottom of the table with just six points from ten matches. Defeat by one run to RCB in their previous match has all but eliminated them from the playoff race. They have come close to winning on two occasions – losing by seven runs to Kolkata Knight Riders and one run to RCB – but overall have lacked depth in the batting, chiefly.
Venue: Dr YS Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium, Visakhapatnam
Date: May 13, 2016
Time: 20:00 IST
Weather: A clear evening with temperatures expected to be in the pleasant high-20s.
Nitish Rana replaced Hardik Pandya in the last game and made nine off 11 balls batting at No 4. Considering Mumbai won, he should retain his place.
Probable XI: 1 Rohit Sharma (capt), 2 Parthiv Patel (wk), 3 Ambati Rayudu, 4 Nitish Rana, 5
Jos Buttler, 6 Kieron Pollard, 7 Krunal Pandya, 8 Harbhajan Singh, 9 Tim Southee, 10 Mitchell McClenaghan, 11 Jasprit Bumrah
Kings XI Punjab
Glenn Maxwell was left out against RCB, with Farhaan Behardien getting a game. Its anyone’s guess whether the South African will keep the Australian out. The rest of the XI should look the same.
Probable XI: 1 Hashim Amla, 2 Murali Vijay (capt), 3 Wriddhiman Saha (wk), 4 David Miller, 5 Marcus Stones, 6 Glenn Maxwell/Farhaan Behardien, 7 Axar Patel, 8 Mohit Sharma, 9 Anureet Singh, 10 Sandeep Sharma, 11 KC Cariarpa
– Mumbai’s Mitchell McClenaghan heads the bowling table with 15 wickets from 11 games.
– In contrast, KXIP’s most successful wicket-taker is Sandeep Sharma with ten from ten.
– David Miller has the lowest batting average of all overseas players to have featured in all their team’s games – 16.37.
“We were in the game till the last over. It was a good game of cricket. Lots of positives to take forward. Like the batting, we took the game till the last overs, and the bowlers did well to keep them to 170 after AB de Villiers’ innings.” – Murali Vijay after the narrow loss to RCB
“It was a crunch game for us. Sets us up very nicely on the table. Last game was a disaster for us, and we wanted to come here and play some good cricket, which is what we’re known for.” – Rohit Sharma after the win over RCB.
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