IPL 2013: Mumbai Indians vs Kolkata Knight Riders – Live IPL Score
On a high after their resounding 60-run win over table-toppers Chennai Super Kings (18 points from 11 games) on Sunday, third-placed Mumbai Indians (14 points from 10 matches) will look to make it six wins in a row at home, when they face struggling defending champions, Kolkata Knight Riders (8 points from 11, placed seventh), at the Wankhede, on Tuesday.
Gambhir-led Knight Riders would rue the fact that this game will be played on a different wicket to the one on which Dhoni’s Super Kings were hammered. Their spinners, Sunil Narine, Sachithra Senanayake and Iqbal Abdulla, would have been more than handy had they played on it on Sunday.
Stastistically, it’s been a no contest between the two teams as MI hold a 9-2 advantage. What will interest KKR though is the fact that they beat them by 32 runs and defended 140 with ease at the Wankhede last year. (May 16). Sunil Narine 4-15 from 3.1 overs was the star of that win. One of his victims was the prized scalp of Tendulkar, who he dismissed bowled. Incidentally, Tendulkar was bowled to the mystery Trinidadian spinner in this year’s first fixture at Eden too.
KKR’s win here last year was overshadowed by the antics of their team owner Shah Rukh Khan, whose scuffle with security guards hogged the limelight. It also resulted in the actor getting a five-year ban from the venue. Khan’s inspirational presence from the galleries has had a telepathic effect on his boys. Three of the four wins have come with him cheering in the aisles. The most significant victory was on Friday over Rajasthan Royals. On Tuesday though, Khan will be there at Wankhede only in ‘spirit’.
KKR’s only hope of qualifying for the play-offs is if they win all their remaining games. They will also be praying for other results to go in their favour.
Life hasn’t been as turbulent for the hosts. They have played sublime cricket especially at fortress Wankhede. If they can extend their home domination on Tuesday, they will be in touching distance of a play-offs berth.
For that, they will need to get KKR skipper Gautam Gambhir out early. The southpaw is not just their leader, he is the batting talisman and if he fires, KKR invariably get away.
Mitchell Johnson, whose career has undergone a renaissance in the T20 league, will have to take the responsibility of cleaning up Gambhir. He’s done that 10 times in international matches (Five times in ODIs, four in Tests and once in T20Is).
There’s further bad news for the visitors. Lankan slinger Lasith Malinga, who was out of form, showed signs of improvement against CSK. They also know that Pollard won’t spill three catches in a row again.
After all, every day is not Sunday.