IPL Eliminator 2: Mumbai Indians vs Kolkata Knight Riders

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Things are heating up in the IPL as the Mumbai Indians and the Kolkata Knight Riders battle it out in the second Eliminator of IP 2017.

It’s do or die time for the Mumbai Indians and the Kolkata Knight Riders as they prepare to face off in the second eliminator of IPL 2017.

Will the Knight Riders explosive top order be enough to carry them into Sunday’s final or will the seam prowess of the Indians be enough to see off the threat of Chris Lynn and Sunil Narine? Let’s take a look.

MI vs KKR | Friday 19 May 2017 | M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru | 16:30

To Win Match
Indians 92/100 | Tie 35/1 | Knight Riders 92/100

Mumbai Indians
The big worry for the Mumbai Indians heading into this will be their complete and utter lack of form over the last few weeks. Despite an excellent start to the season which saw them win nine of their first 11 matches, they’ve gone on to lose three of their last four – not the ideal form going into the play-offs.

One feels that the Indians are going to need a big shift from their spinners this Friday – odd when you consider all of their limited overs seam specialists. The Chinnaswamy – which hosted the first eliminator – favoured the slower bowlers. I feel that Harbhajan Singh and Krunal Pandya could play massive roles in this Eliminator.

It’s also wise not to discount the seam trio of Mitchell McClenaghan, Lasith Malinga and Jasprit Bumrah; all of whom have been magnificent this season. How they set things up in the early part of the innings for their spinners could have a massive bearing on the result of this game.

If they’re able to dismiss Sunil Narine and Chris Lynn early, they’ll expose a middle order who have looked suspect for large parts of the season. You feel that Robin Uthappa and Gautam Gambhir don’t feel as comfortable coming in at first and second drop as they do opening the batting. Expose them early, dismiss them cheaply and the Indians will be in business.

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Kolkata Knight Riders
That’s easier said than done, however. Narine and Lynn have been absolutely outstanding at the top of the innings. They’ve scored more quickly than any other batsmen in the tournament with more than 100 runs (Lynn at 187.74 and Narine at 178.33). If these two can get after the Indians’ seamers early doors, we could see the Knight Riders set a massive total.

Things get a little more wobbly when you look down the order. They don’t really pile on runs at the back end of the innings. Yusuf Pathan doesn’t always come off and beyond him, the likes of Kuldeep Yadav, Ishank Jaggi and Piyush Chawla don’t really fill you confidence.

Bowling wise, Jacques Kallis will be looking for a big performance from Narine and Pandya while Umesh Yadav, Nathan Coulter-Nile and Trent Boult will need to play the supporting roles. The seamers will need to mix it up a bit in terms of their pace and variations on what could be a sticky deck.

All in all, I think that the Knight Riders are in a better space than the Indians right now. They came into the play-offs with a bit of form behind them and will prove a tough side to beat going forward. If the Kolkata franchise can limit the run scoring capabilities of Lendl Simmons and Parthiv Patel at the top of the order and expose the likes of Rohit Sharma, Ambathi Rayudu and Kieron Pollard early, they could be in business; especially with the wealth of spin options available to them.

Verdict: Kolkata Knight Riders 92/100
I just feel that the Indians may have peaked too soon in this tournament. Their lack of form of late remains a concern, especially at the business end of the tournament. Back the Knight Riders and their belligerent top order to put this beyond the reach of the Indians.


Written by Jason Dewey for @Hollywoodbets.net

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