KKR take on MI in battle for finale

KKR take on MI in battle for finale

Two-time IPL champions Kolkata Knight Riders and Mumbai Indians will clash with each other in the second qualifier of the tenth edition of the IPL tonight in Bangalore. KKR will come into the game after an emphatic, and yet much delayed, 7-wicket win over Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Eliminator while Mumbai Indians lost to Rising Pune Supergiant in the first qualifier. The winner of this match will register a berth in the final of IPL 2017. If the match is called off due to rain, Mumbai Indians will go into the finals as they finished ahead of KKR in the points table.

KKR have an abysmal 5-15 head-to-head record against Mumbai Indians, who notched up twin victories over their rivals in the league stage of the tournament this year. In fact, Mumbai Indians had pulled off their first win of the season against KKR at the Wankhede stadium last month when they beat them by four wickets with just one ball to spare.

Needing 60 runs off last 24 balls, Hardik Pandya had finished the job in dramatic fashion, smashing 29 off 11 balls. Mumbai once again got the better of KKR when they handed them a nine-run defeat in their last league match at Edens Gardens.

Mumbai's batting has been remarkable this season with openers Lendl Simmons and Parthiv Patel giving them good starts and skipper Rohit Sharma, Ambati Rayadu and Kieron Pollard firing in unison. Adding to this, the Pandya brothers - Hardik and Krunal - have been exceptionally good whenever the team has needed them. In bowling, Mumbai may continue to open their attack with Sri Lankan Lasith Malinga and Kiwi Mitchell McClenaghan. Jasprit Bumrah has been their best death overs specialist and along with Hardik, he will have to play a key role to restrict KKR, which boasts of some big names like Chris Lynn, Gautam Gambhir and Robin Uthappa, among others.

On the other hand Kolkata Knight Riders would once again bank upon their batting strength. Skipper Gautam Gambhir, who is placed in the second spot in the most runs list with 486 runs, will hope to lead from the front. He will need support form Chris Lynn, Robin Uthappa, Yousuf Pathan and Jaggi. As far as their bowling is concerned, Chris Woakes (17 wickets) and Umesh Yadav (16 wickets) have been on song, and they have their task cut out to stop Simmons and Rohit at the top of the order, and Rayadu and Pollard in the middle.

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