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Arun Gopalakrishnan in Mumbai 18 May 2013 - 12:24am IST

Preview : Match 69 – KXIP vs MI

MI will look to seal top spot

What

Kings XI Punjab lock horns with Mumbai Indians in Match 69 of Pepsi IPL 2013. The Mumbai Indians are on a cruise mode, having won their last five matches –each one of them convincingly. In their previous outing, they posted a modest 166 but defended it in style, demolishing the Rajasthan Royals’ top-order before the fielding restrictions had been relaxed. Mumbai Indians have now secured a place in the top two – which comes with the incentive of having a second crack of progressing to the title-clash.

Sunrisers Hyderabad’s victory over Rajasthan Royals on Friday night shut the door on Kings XI Punjab’s chances of progressing to the Pepsi IPL 2013 Playoffs. KXIP certainly have momentum with them, given they defeated the Royal Challengers Bangalore and the Delhi Daredevils in their two most recent outings. However, even if they defeat the mighty Mumbai Indians in this match, they can only get to 16 points which will not be enough to put them among the top four teams.

When

Saturday, May 18, 2013, 4 p.m

Where

HPCA Stadium, Dharamsala

The Protagonists

Adam Gilchrist has turned on the heat as the tournament nears the business end. The KXIP skipper followed up his unbeaten 85 against Royal Challengers Bangalore with yet another match-winning knock against the Delhi Daredevils.

Just how good has David Miller been? The left-hander is the team’s leading run-getter this season and the impact batsman, given he has scored his 412 runs at an incredible strike-rate of 165.46.

Asked to open the innings, Glenn Maxwell did well in the previous match scoring scoring a quick-fire 23. How the Australian adapts to the challenge of opening the innings on a pitch that is expected to offer a lot of pace and bounce will be interesting to see. With Sachin Tendulkar likely to miss out yet again, MI will need runs from their skipper Rohit Sharma and Dinesh Karthik – both of who have been in supreme form this season. Given that Dharamsala has generally dished out surfaces that support the quick bowlers, Mitchell Johnson and Praveen Kumar must be queuing up to get a bowl. Praveen started the season with a flurry of wickets, but has since been unlucky though he has been very miserly with the ball. Mitchell Johnson, MI’s leading wicket-taker this season, has been very dangerous too – often getting the ball to jag back into the right-handers.

Previous Meetings

Kings XI Punjab have a 6-5 win-loss record over the Mumbai Indians although it is the Mumbai Indians who’ve gotten the better of KXIP the last two times these two teams met.

Trivia

No team has won more matches batting first this season than the Mumbai Indians; eight of their eleven victories have been when batting first. Kings XI Punjab meanwhile have won only two matches batting first. The ongoing season is Harbhajan Singh’s most-successful IPL season. The Mumbai Indians off-spinner has picked up 18 wickets in 15 matches. His most productive season prior to this season was 2009 when he picked up 17 wickets in 15 matches. Lasith Malinga has the opportunity to become the first bowler in the IPL to reach the 100-wicket milestone. He currently has 97 wickets.

What Next

Both teams will await results from other matches to know their future in the Pepsi IPL 2013. MI are already through to the Pepsi IPL 2013 Playoffs and will next feature in either the Qualifier 1 or Eliminator – depending on the result of this match. 

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