IPL 2017 Qualifier 1: Mumbai Indians vs Rising Pune Supergiant

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The first Qualifier of IPL 2017 will take place on Tuesday as the Mumbai Indians and Rising Pune Supergiant clash at the Wankhede.

It’s advantage Mumbai in the first Qualifier of IPL 2017 with the Supergiant missing key personnel in the form of Ben Stokes and Imran Tahir who have both gone off to join their international outfits.

A cracking encounter is on the cards here between the two best sides in this year’s tournament! So who will make Sunday’s final? Let’s take a look:

MI vs RPS | Tuesday 16 May 2017 | Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai | 16:30

To Win Match
Indians 67/100 | Tie 35/1 | Supergiant 5/4

Mumbai Indians
The Mumbai Indians head into this tie with supreme confidence knowing that the Supergiant will be without its two best players in Tahir and Stokes. The table-toppers need to be wary of falling into a complacent headspace though as the Supergiant are one of only two sides to beat the Indians at the Wankhede this season.

Mahela Jayawardene's men come into this game brimming with confidence after beating the Kolkata Knight Riders by 9 runs in their final pool match. Saurabh Tiwary and Ambati Rayudu chipped in with half-centuries while Rohit Sharma continued his good form with a solid 27 as the Indians finished on 173-5.

Their strength and depth was once again highlighted as a largely second string seam attack comprised of Tim Southee, Mitchell Johnson and Vinay Kumar restricted a dangerous KKR side to just 164 – not a bad showing for a side who opted to rest the likes of Lasith Malinga, Jasprit Bumrah and Mitchell McClenaghan.

They will no doubt come into this Qualifier feeling fresh and desperate to book their place at in Sunday's final at the Rajiv Gandhi. They have all the experience in the world and the best seam attack in this competition by a long way, it’ll take something special from Supergiant – or something equally appalling from the hosts – to stop them from reaching their fourth IPL final.  

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Rising Pune Supergiant
The Supergiant will do well to get a result at the Wankhede on Tuesday, such has been the form of the Indians at their home ground this season. Having said that, Stephen Fleming’s men are one of only two sides to win at the ground this season. They’ll no doubt head into this match quietly confident of causing an upset.

They will have to do so without the considerable talent of Imran Tahir and Ben Stokes – arguably their two best players this season. Adam Zampa is likely to come in for Tahir as a like-for-like replacement while drafting someone in for Stokes is a bit more complicated.

There aren’t many players who can bowl at 140 clicks and smash a quick-fire half-century like the Englishman other than Chris Morris. We might even see someone like Usman Khawaja get his first run out in the 2017 edition of the tournament.

One thing the Pune franchise does have coming into this tournament is momentum. They absolutely smashed the Kings XI in their final round-robin match of the competition, dismissing them for 73 in a nine-wicket win.

They most certainly won’t have it this easy on Tuesday and will need big performances from Jaydev Unadkat and Shardul Thakur with the ball. The senior batsmen will also need to step up against a gun seam attack. Steve Smith and Ajinkya Rahane have struggled for consistency this season while MS Dhoni simply isn’t the player he was three or four years ago.

Verdict: Mumbai Indians 67/100

The Indians will be too good for the Supergiant, especially at the Wankhede where they’ve been so strong throughout the season. This coupled with the fact that the Supergiant are without their two best players means that the smart money is all on the hosts – get on at 67/100. 


Written by Jason Dewey for @Hollywoodbets.net

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