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Rediff.com  » Cricket » Will Delhi be Mumbai's stumbling block for play-off berth?

Will Delhi be Mumbai's stumbling block for play-off berth?

May 19, 2018 14:03 IST

Sandeep Lamichhane

IMAGE: Mumbai Indians will be wary of Delhi Daredevils’s Sandeep Lamichhane after the young Nepal spinner’s fine showing against Chennai Super Kings on Friday. Photograph: BCCI

Defending champions Mumbai Indians will be firing on all cylinders against wooden spooners Delhi Daredevils in their bid to clinch a play-off berth in a must-win IPL encounter, in Delhi, on Sunday.

The cash-rich league is still alive and kicking with only Sunrisers Hyderabad (18 from 13 games) and Chennai Super Kings (16 from 13 games) having clinched play-off spots.

Statistically, five teams save Daredevils are still in contention, with two play-off spots up for grabs.

 

In mid-table clutter, Mumbai Indians are among four teams who are on 12 points and fighting for a spot in the play-offs.

Mumbai Indians (NRR +0.384) will be praying for a favourable result for Sunrisers Hyderabad in their last home match against Kolkata Knight Riders (14 points and NRR -0.091).

A win for KKR will mean that only one slot will be left during the final two encounters with an eye on the run-rate.

While Rajasthan Royals and Royal Challengers Bangalore face off in one of Saturday’s two matches, Kings XI Punjab takes on Chennai Super Kings in the final round-robin match in Pune on Sunday evening.

The performance in the past few matches is sure to have boosted the confidence of Rohit Sharma and his men.

Mumbai had a topsy-turvy campaign so far, as after a series of defeats early in the tournament they were able to string in the victories when it mattered most.

Suryakumar Yadav

IMAGE: Suryakumar Yadav, who has aggregated 500 runs thus far in IPL 2018, holds the key to Mumbai Indians getting off to a good start. Photograph: BCCI

However, the Daredevils can be the banana peel and Mumbai Indians will be wary after Chennai Super Kings slipped in their penultimate game.

For them, there is nothing but pride at stake, which makes the young team a dangerous opposition.

The last time the two teams faced off, the Daredevils won by seven wickets in a last-over thriller.

Mumbai's batsmen have been inconsistent, with skipper Rohit Sharma scoring only 273 runs in this edition.

It took a fighting 50 from Kieron Pollard to help Mumbai post a competitive score against Punjab in their last match.

Suryakumar Yadav (500 runs) has been among the runs after being promoted as opener while West Indian opener Evin Lewis (334) has had his moments on and off.

Rohit's poor form is a big worry for Mumbai. Apart from his match-winning knock against Royal Challengers Bangalore, he has failed to live up to the expectations of fans. Mumbai need him to contribute big time, so that Pollard and the Pandya brothers - Hardik and Krunal -- can provide the late charge if needed.

Jasprit Bumrah's (16 wickets) sensational three-wicket haul in the last match will give him a lot of confidence apart from his consistent show in most death over situations.

Hardik (18 wickets and 233 runs) has been solid without being spectacular while Krunal (224 runs and 11 wickets) impressive. 

For Delhi, it has been another forgettable season as they looked below par throughout the tournament. Despite having the legendary Ricky Ponting on board as coach or handing the captaincy in the middle of the tournament to young Shreyas Iyer, they again brought up the rear.

However, a break of five days seemed to revive them as they outclassed formidable Chennai by 34 runs to restore some pride.

Vijay Shankar and Harshal Patel helped Daredevils post 162 for five and then leg-spinners Amit Mishra (2/20) and young Sandeep Lamichhane (1/21) managed to restrict CSK to 128 for six. Iyer will expect a similar effort from his team on Sunday.

The teams (from):

Delhi Daredevils: Shreyas Iyer (captain), Rishabh Pant, Glenn Maxwell, Gautam Gambhir, Jason Roy, Colin Munro, Mohammed Shami, Amit Mishra, Prithvi Shaw, Rahul Tewatia, Vijay Shankar, Harshal Patel, Avesh Khan, Shahbaz Nadeem, Daniel Christian, Jayant Yadav, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Trent Boult, Manjot Kalra, Abhishek Sharma, Sandeep Lamichhane, Naman Ojha, Sayan Ghosh, Liam Plunkett, Junior Dala.

Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma (captain), Suryakumar Yadav, Evin Lewis, Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Mayank Markande, Mitchell McLenaghan, Mustafizur Rahaman, Jasprit Bumrah, Akila Dananjaya, Ben Cutting, JP Duminy, Rahul Chahar, Sharad Lumba, Adam Milne, Siddhesh Lad, Md Nidheesh, Mohsin Khan, Anukul Roy, Pradeep Sangwan, Tajinder Singh, Aditya Tare, Saurabh Tiwary.

Match starts: 1600 IST

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