If Kolkata win today's match, they will move closer to play-off berth but if they lose, they can still progress by winning their last match if Rajasthan and Punjab lose their last games. Also, Ashwin may have been waiting for Ben Cutting to come in, so he could expose his weakness against spin.
"To be very precise, I did expect to find ourselves in such a situation, but not this much; probably thought we might have won one or two more games and probably reached 14 or 16 points". The collapse, including that of Captain Rohit Sharma, was apparent in the last game. If MI win, they will go to 12 points and it is their net run-rate that will keep their hopes alive for the qualification, of course, they will have to win their final game. Andrew Tye became the first bowler to pick up 3 four-wicket hauls in a single IPL season.
Despite having one of the most unsafe opening pair (Lokesh Rahul and Chris Gayle) in their batting line up and one of the most prominent bowlers (Andrew Tye and Mujeed Ur Rahman) the team have not yet qualified for play-offs berth. It allowed the out-of-form Kieron Pollard to produce the kind of knock-50 off 23 with 3 power sixes-that has kept him on Mumbai's books for almost a decade despite his inconsistent form. Other than him, the in-form players Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan and Evin Lewis will be the key. The 38-year-old West Indian opener scored 302 runs in his first 5 innings but has tapered away in the last few games. Tye cleaned up Lewis. Karun Nair and Mayank Agarwal haven't been amidst the runs lately and perhaps Yuvraj Singh could get a game tonight since the Punjab side need a lot of experience behind their back to recover from a string of defeats. Just one change for us, Kieron Pollard replaces JP Duminy.
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MI too can not afford to lose from here. That dismissal ended the crucial 111-run second wicket partnership between Rahul and Finch to bring Mumbai back into the game.
The Kings XI got their chase off to great start thanks to Rahul and Aaron Finch (46) who had lifted the visitors to 145 for 1 at the end of the 16th over and looked odds on to take the contest home.
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With Star India now acquiring the media rights from Sony Pictures Network India for the upcoming season, the matches will be telecast on various Star Sports channels.
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