Mumbai Indians need big win against Perth to qualify for CLT20 semis
With Otago Volts stretching their Champions League T20 match against Rajasthan Royals to the last over before going down by four wickets, it has made the equation more difficult for Mumbai Indians in their quest to make it to the semi-finals from Group A.
With virtually one semi-final spot up for grabs in Group A, the IPL champions will need to register a big victory against bottom-placed Perth Scorchers in their final round-robin match in New Delhi on Wednesday.
Mumbai, who are currently third with six points, need to win the match by a margin of around 48-50 runs if they bat first or chase the runs in 13-15 overs if they are set a total in the range of 100-200 to qualify for the last four ahead of Otago Volts.
Rajasthan finished their group games with a perfect record of four victories from four games, while Otago Volts are second with 10 points with two victories under their belt and an abandoned game.
Image: Mumbai Indians
Mumbai bowlers did well
With a morale boosting seven-wicket win over Highvelds Lions in their previous encounter, Rohit Sharma's side they could not have asked for weaker opponents than Perth Scorchers in a crucial game.
Even though the star-studded Mumbai outfit did not have an ideal start to the tournament as they suffered a defeat at the hands of Rajasthan Royals in the opening match before their second tie was washed out, they came back strongly to stamp their authority against the Lions.
The bowlers, despite the absence of Lasith Malinga, have done well with Mitchell Johnson, Harbhajn Singh and Pragyan Ojha successfully putting breaks to the opponents' scoring besides chipping in with important wickets.
Batsmen did their job to perfection
Mumbai's batting came good against Lions with opener Dwayne Smith hitting a 47-ball 63, and Kieron Pollard playing an unbeaten 32-run cameo towards the end but the form of the other top batsmen is a worry especially captain Rohit Sharma, Ambati Rayudu and Dinesh Karthik.
The worrying part though remains the form of Sachin Tendulkar, playing his last tournament for Mumbai Indians. But over the years he has shown that he always makes it count when it matters the most and the team will be hoping for the veteran batsman to shine.
Scorchers' have nothing to lose
The Scorchers, on the other hand, with two loses and a match being abandoned are languishing at the bottom of the table with two points.
Already out of contention for a semifinal spot, the Scorchers have only pride to play for tomorrow and spoil Mumbai's chances.
But for that they would require to strike hard with their available resources. Scorchers are here without some key players and have not been able to pose any real challenge to any of their opponents so far in the League.
After an abandoned tie against the Lions, the Scorchers lost to Otago Volts by 62 runs and then got a nine-wicket thrashing at the hands of Rajasthan Royals.
The bowlers, having virtually nothing sustantial to defend, also failed to show any fire.
Perth Scorchers, however, have some experience in skipper Simon Katich and Test discard Marcus North, besides a few youngsters who are keen to learn.
Their bowling, led by Joel Paris, is inexperienced and not having played Brad Hogg in the tournament so far haven't helped their cause. The 42-year-old is expected to be included in the playing eleven on Wednesday.
Perth will be hoping to finish off on a high with a consolation victory against the IPL champions while Mumbai will be going all out for a big victory that will take them through to the last four and keep their hopes alive of completing a grand double.
Image: Joel Paris of Perth Scorchers celebrates