Mumbai face in-form Knight Riders in crunch clash
Mumbai, April 27: Table-toppers Kolkata Knight Riders will aim to extend their winning streak when they come up against defending champions Mumbai Indians in a high-octane Indian Premier League (IPL) clash at the Wankhede Stadium here on Thursday.
Two-time winners Kolkata sit comfortably at the top of the points table with eight points from five games, having won four and lost just one.
While Mumbai, two-time winners and defending champions, have found some momentum after a slow start to the season and are in the fifth spot with six points from seven games, with three wins and four losses.
Mumbai come into Thursday’s match after thumping victory over Kings XI Punjab. Opener Parthiv Patel (81) led from the front alongside Ambati Rayudu (65) to post a challenging total. The bowlers then put up a good show to register a 25-run victory.
On the other hand, Kolkata also come into the match after clinching a il-biting contest against Rising Pune Supergiants. Suryakumar Yadav (60) struck a much needed half-century to help the team win by two wickets.
The last time the two sides met in the season at the Eden Gardens, Mumbai skipper Rohit Sharma smashed match-winning unbeaten 54-ball 84 to steer them to an easy victory.
But on Thursday, it will be a fresh start for both the sides and Mumbai will look to make the best use of the home conditions and climb up the points table.
Rohit Sharma after that match-winning innings at Eden hasn’t been consistent with the bat and will aim to get back to runs on home turf.
In-form Parthiv, followed by Rayudu, Jos Buttler and all-rounders Kieron Pollard, Krul Pandya, Hardik Pandya make a strong batting line-up. Leading the bowling department, will be experienced New Zealanders Tim Southee and Mitchell McCleghan, who has been the leading wicket-taker with 11 victims. Young Jasprit Bumrah, Pandya brothers and off-spin veteran Harbhajan Singh will aim to continue their good show with the ball.
Kolkata as always will rely on openers Gautam Gambhir and Robin Uthappa to fire for them at the top.
The duo has been in superb form lately but once they failed against Pune in the last match, Suryakumar came to team’s rescue. Experienced Yusuf Pathan and all-rounders Shakib Al Hasan, Andre Russell, Rajagopal Sathish will make a competitive batting unit.
The Knight Riders’ bowling has also been good in the tourment, with pacers Morne Morkel, Umesh Yadav, Russell and spinners Shakib, Piyush Chawla, Sunil rine bowling economically and picking up wickets at regular intervals. They will aim to put up a similar show against Mumbai.
Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma (captain), Harbhajan Singh, Hardik Pandya, Jasprit Bumrah, Jos Buttler, Kieron Pollard, Corey Anderson, Lasith Malinga, Martin Guptill, Mitchell McCleghan, Marchant de Lange, Tim Southee, Unmukt Chand, Viy Kumar, Parthiv Patel, Shreyas Gopal, thu Singh, Jagadeesha Suchith, Ambati Rayudu, Akshay Wakhare, Deepak Punia, Jitesh Sharma, Kishore Kamath, Krul Pandya, Nitish Ra, Siddhesh Lad.
Kolkata Knight Riders: Gautam Gambhir (captain), Kuldeep Yadav, Manish Pandey, Piyush Chawla, Robin Uthappa, Sheldon Jackson, Suryakumar Yadav, Umesh Yadav, Yusuf Pathan, Sunil rine, Andre Russell, Brad Hogg, Chris Lynn, Morne Morkel, Shakib Al Hasan, Jaydev Udkat, Ankit Singh Rajpoot, Jason Holder, Colin Munro, Rajgopal Sathish, Man Ajay Sharma. (IANS)