Arun Gopalakrishnan in Mumbai 13 May 2014 - 05:37pm IST
Preview: Match 40 – KKR v MI
Former champs host title-holders in crucial mid-table tussle
The Kolkata Knight Riders and the Mumbai Indians, who clashed in the opening fixture of Pepsi IPL 2014 in Abu Dhabi, go head to head yet again in Match 40.
In the nine matches so far, both teams haven’t played to their potential and need to raise their game several notches if they are to progress to the Playoffs. KKR (four wins from nine matches) are slightly better placed than their opponents who have only six points from their three wins.
Wednesday, May 14, 2014, 8 pm IST
Barabati Stadium, Cuttack
The one common factor in KKR’s wins in their two most recent matches is the performance of the openers; Gautam Gambhir and Robin Uthappa set up a platform on both occasions and collectively contributed 225 runs. KKR need them to carry on in the same manner.
MI will be glad they’ve found an in-form opener in Lendl Simmons. The Trinidadian scored 68 and powered MI’s run-chase against Sunrisers Hyderabad. Apart from Simmons, MI will expect runs from Ambati Rayudu (who has scored half-centuries in his last two innings), skipper Rohit Sharma and Kieron Pollard.
Notes from previous match
Kolkata Knight Riders v Kings XI Punjab: There haven’t been too many teams who have stood up and competed against Kings XI Punjab this season. Kolkata Knight Riders have done it twice in two matches. In their most recent match, the bowlers stuck to their task, kept plugging away at the opponent, and tightened the screws in the final overs – conceding only 33 runs in the final five overs. On the batting front, the openers once again set the platform; not only did Robin Uthappa and Gautam Gambhir score runs, they did so at a fair clip. Not once did they allow KXIP to get back into the match. The asking rate at the start of the innings was 7.50, but it dropped to 6.30 when the openers were separated at the end of the seventh over.
Mumbai Indians v Sunrisers Hyderabad: Runs from opener Lendl Simmons and Ambati Rayudu, which set up the seven-wicket win, should not mask the areas where Mumbai Indians were lacking. The bowling lacked penetration, though the usual suspects – Lasith Malinga and Harbhajan Singh – lived up to their stellar reputation. The form of Pragyan Ojha, who bowled either too full or too short, and the fifth bowler’s quota of four overs must be a concern for coach John Wright. The combined eight overs bowled by Ojha, Kieron Pollard and Corey Anderson cost the Mumbai Indians 70 runs.
History indicates that the Mumbai Indians have a stranglehold over the Kolkata Knight Riders. The two teams have met on 13 occasions, and MI have prevailed in 10 of those matches.
However, in the most recent meeting between these two teams – in the season-opener – KKR triumphed when they defeated the defending champions by a whopping 41 runs.
The Kolkata Knight Riders have effected the most run-out dismissals so far this season – 6.
Only 47.09 percent of Kolkata Knight Riders’ runs this season have been scored through boundaries – that’s the lowest among all teams this season.
Gautam Gambhir and his lads will head south to Andhra Pradesh to take on the Sunrisers Hyderabad in their backyard on May 18. Mumbai Indians, meanwhile, take a four-day break before taking the field against the Rajasthan Royals in Ahmedabad on May 19.