Is Mumbai's reign coming to an end?
A massive grudge match is set for Tuesday as the struggling Mumbai Indians take on the always exciting Rajasthan Royals in what could be a decisive game in the race for a space in the next phase of the Indian Premier League. For the Mumbai team, it is fast becoming out of their hands, as a string of poor results since the resumption of the tournament has seen them slip down to seventh. Whilst an impressive win last time out for the Royals, keeps them in contention and in touching distance of a top four place.
Pretty in pink
The exciting brand of cricket that come out of Rajasthan, when it works, is spectacular, and that is exactly what their batting was like on Saturday against the Chennai Super Kings. Evin Lewis (27) and Yashasvi Jaiswal (50) got the Royals off to an electric start to their run chase, the opening pair both had strike rates over 220 as they put on 77 in under six overs.
They were chasing down a strong target set by CSK of 190, which could have been a lot higher, if it wasn’t for the three wickets of spinner Rahul Tewatia. He dismissed Suresh Raina, Moeen Ali and Ambati Rayudu to help damage limitations for the Royals.
An unbeaten 64 from Shivam Dube made sure the Royals took the two points, and keeps them in the hunt for the final available play off place.
Out of their hands
Four defeats from their last five has meant that the Mumbai Indians are relying on results going their way if they are to sneak in to the top four this year, and defend their IPL crown. They currently sit on 10 points alongside KKR, the Rajasthan Royals and the Punjab Kings (who have played one game more) but the bad news comes for MI in the fact that they have the worst net run rate of the four sides still in the hunt, meaning they will need some results to go in their favour.
They were underwhelming last time out against the Delhi Capitals as they were only able to set an under par 130 for the Capitals to chase down. It was never going to be enough and despite a tidy bowling performance, this defeat saw them staring down the barrel.
Last time out they racked up a whopping 81 in the powerplay, and I can’t see them approaching this one any differently.
That’s why I am backing the Rajasthan Royals to score more than 42.5 runs in the powerplay, in the match between the Rajasthan Royals and the Mumbai Indians at 1.85 with Parimatch.