Runs on the menu in crunch play-off match

Half way through the final full week of group games in this seasons Dream11 Indian Premier League means it is the final throw of the dice for the sides to get themselves in to the top four places. For the Mumbai Indians and the Royal Challengers Bangalore, they both find themselves firmly in the hunt for a spot in the play-offs.

Champions got Stoked

Kieron Pollard said it perfectly to the media following Mumbai’s dramatic defeat to the Rajasthan Royals, that sometimes all you can say is the better team won. This was definitely the case for the final ten over of the Royals run chase when Ben Stokes and Sanju Samson knocked off the 196 runs needed to win with ten balls to spare. 107* from Stokes put to bed any murmurs from the media that he wasn’t justifying his space in the side with good quality performances.

They had batted very well in the first innings Mumbai, 60* from just 21 balls from Hardik Pandya accelerated their total in the final few overs. Contributions from Ishan Kishan (37), who again opened the innings in the absence of skipper Rohit Sharma, Suryakumar Yadav (40) and Saurabh Tiwary (34) built the foundations of the innings.

But even their exceptional bowling attack couldn’t neutralise the danger that came from Stokes and Samson as the Royals got home comfortably, without the services of Jos Buttler, who didn’t make it to the crease.

No glory in green for RCB

They might have been wearing their change strip in their last match against bottom of the pile the Chennai Super Kings, but RCB will be hoping for a change in fortunes in their crunch match on Wednesday. After posting just 145 in their 20 overs, the Royal Challengers would have been disappointed and knowing that they would have to bowl well, even if they were playing against a team who were struggling.

The spinners again were unbelievable in keeping CSK within their sights with Washington Sundar and Yuzvendra Chahal both bowling very economically. But two overs for 29 from Mohammed Siraj undone all of the hard work that his fellow bowlers had done and helped CSK get over the line with eight wickets and eight balls in hand.

Last time the sides met it was one of the most dramatic games in IPL history with the teams inseparable on 201 before RCB won the subsequent super over. Let’s hope for more of the same drama on Wednesday.

Match Tip

Two strong teams with the bat but I think the strength of the Mumbai bowling attack will get them the crucial two points. Ishan Kishan looks comfortable at the top of the order and if he has to bat there again, Mumbai won’t be disappointed.

I am backing the Mumbai Indians to score more runs in the powerplay than the Royal Challengers Bangalore at 1.75 with LeoVegas.

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