IPL: Sunday 13 May Preview

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We take a look at Sunday 13 May's two Indian Premier League fixtures. 

Chennai were early frontrunners to finish at the top of the 2018 tournament's eight-team standings, but have since taken a backseat to the dominance of Hyderabad. Both teams, indeed, want to clinch momentum ahead of the play-offs.

Mumbai's title defence has not gone according to plan, but they remain in contention for a berth in the next round. The Royals, too, are still in the running, but their chances are far more mathematical.

CSK vs SRH | Sunday 13 May | Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Pune | 12:30

The Super Kings won the IPL in 2010 and 2011, while the Sunrisers did so in 2016. They're both among the lead contenders for another title - and are battling it out in what could be a fitting precursor to the final.

To Win Match
Chennai Super Kings 82/100
Tie 35/1
Sunrisers Hyderabad 21/20

Chennai Super Kings
The men in yellow relished a tight four-run triumph when they met the orange franchise earlier this season, thanks largely to telling contributions from Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Suresh Raina and Deepak Chahar. All three will be key this time, too, while the fine form of Ambati Rayudu will be difficult for the opposition attack to successfully combat as well.

The Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium is, of course, Chennai's adopted home ground for the season. They lost their Chepauk venue due to security concerns - and have since gone onto win three of their four matches in Pune. Renewed faith in Sam Billings and Karn Sharma, meanwhile, should inspire their batting and bowling resources accordingly. Leg-spinner Sharma, in particular, will be in for a tough challenge.

Sunrisers Hyderabad
Hyderabad have enjoyed a fruitful campaign, losing only two matches so far. Now is the time to capitalise on this string of results, rather than flounder at the business end of the tournament. The Delhi Daredevils almost showed them up recently, but Kane Williamson and company managed to make up for where the bowlers disappointed.

They arguably have an over-reliance on Williamson and Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid Khan, though. The latter is nearing a Test debut for his country of birth, so would do well to perform in the face of intense pressure before that. He has been clobbered around recently, with his variations becoming a bit predictable. Here's a great chance to return to his best.

Verdict: Chennai Super Kings 82/100
While the Sunrisers have already qualified for the play-offs, Chennai have not, but should do so with a repeat of 22 April's success in Hyderabad. They split their head-to-head results in 2014 and 2015 - and now's the time for either to take an outright lead.

MI vs RR | Sunday, 13 May | Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai | 16:30

Mumbai will take a lot of confidence into this fixture after somewhat of a mid-season resurgence, but need to make it count. Rajasthan, well, are still jostling for position in the top half of the standings.

To Win Match
Mumbai Indians 66/100
Tie 35/1
Rajasthan Royals 5/4

Mumbai Indians
While Rohit Sharma and the other batsmen have struggled to score consistently enough, Suryakumar Yadav has set himself apart - and is right up there with the competition's top run-scorers this season. His last outing against the Royals yielded an entirely impressive 72 and, among all these half-centuries, he'll be longing for three figures. Perhaps this will bring that occasion.

The Wankhede Stadium is a tough nut to crack for visiting teams. Equally, though, Mumbai can't let this homeground advantage lure them into a false sense of confidence. It shouldn't, but Sharma is going to have to be mindful of leading an impressionable bunch appropriately. The roles of brothers Krunal and Hardik Pandya, as always, will be instrumental.

Rajasthan Royals
Player of the Tournament last year but somewhat of an under-achiever this time, opportunity for Ben Stokes to justify his big-ticket price tag continue to run out. From a neutral's perspective, one hopes he serves up an innings and spell of huge value and entertainment. From Mumbai's point of view, they'd appreciate another flop from the England all-rounder.

There's an outside chance of South African wicketkeeper-batsman Heinrich Klaasen making another appearance, even if they play him as a specialist batsman. He didn't do well in his first two matches, but could toll at just the right time if afforded the opportunity. For this to happen, the Royals will need to bank on their belated overseas recruit - as well as the multi-talented Jofra Archer.

Verdict: Mumbai Indians 66/100
Quietly sneaking up on the rest from behind, gradually showing their true mettle as the defending champions, Mumbai should continue to right their wrongs and put themselves on track for a spot in the final.

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Written by Jonhenry Wilson for Hollywoodbets

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