Published: Thu, May 17, 2018
Sports | By Johanna Francis

MI post a competitive 186-8 against KXIP in IPL

MI post a competitive 186-8 against KXIP in IPL

With just two spots remaining for the Play-offs, five teams will have to fight real hard to avoid elimination.

SunRisers Hyderabad are the table toppers with 18 points to their name in 12 games, followed by Chennai that have 16 points from 12 matches. It seemed weird that Ashwin was not bowling, given Mumbai Indians were four down and had left-hander Krunal and Pollard, who prefers pace to spin, at the wicket. West Indian Kieron Pollard struck a blistering fifty to rescue defending champions Mumbai Indians from a mid-innings slump to a competitive 186 for 8 in the crucial game at the Wankhade stadium here. But, they have managed to hold on to a three-run win after some exceptional death bowling from Jasprit Bumrah.

Dinesh Karthik's KKR is now at number three position and they will play Rajasthan Royals on May 15 at Eden Gardens. He has failed to get runs managing 84 runs in eight games at an average of 14.

If the Mumbai Indians are let down by their best bet Rohit, for Kings XI Punjab Rahul has failed to get the desired support.

However, KKR's net run rate is -0.189, which is way weaker than Mumbai's (+0.405) and RCB's (+0.218).

However, there is no official statement from the management, and it is believed that they might not take such drastic decision for the last two matches. It did so on Wednesday night by the narrowest of margins, to stay in contention for the valuable fourth spot in the points table.

The collapse of Rahul and Gayle when subjected to Umesha Yadav's short balls will be something that will be at the back of the Mumbai bowlers' minds as they will look to exploit this particular weakness to strangle the opposition's chances of scoring big.

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Rajasthan Royals will face Kolkata Knight Riders on May 15 at Eden Gardens. Overall, they have posted six wins out of 12 games.

Needing 38 off the last three overs, Punjab took 15 runs off Ben Cutting's 18th over as Rahul (94 off 60 balls) smashed three consecutive boundaries off the Australian seamer.

R Ashwin led Punjab started the tournament on a very good note, but lost five of their last six games. It is the important match for Mumbai Indians as it decides them to enter into the playoff.

The Aussie pack: In addition to Tye's third bag of wickets this season, the Aussies played major roles in the outcome of the vital clash in Mumbai.

What Mumbai Indians needs to do: On May 20, it plays Delhi Daredevils, a team which is out of the race for the playoffs. It has garnered 12 points in 12 matches - winning and losing six each.

The spinner missed the previous match against Royal Challengers Bangalore. Both teams face a must-win scenario and that, in turn, could see the victor take a significant advantage in improving their qualification chances for the play-offs.

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