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IPL 2017, MI vs KXIP Match Prediction: Who will win today's match between Mumbai Indians and Kings XI Punjab, IPL 2017, Match 51

KXIP take on MI in a do-or-die fixture.

Can Mumbai ensure a top-two finish?

The Kings XI Punjab may have given themselves the slimmest of chances of making it to the playoffs, thanks to their disciplined bowling against the Kolkata Knight Riders, but they are still very much on the edge. With six wins from 12 games, the Glenn Maxwell led side is placed on fifth on the table.

The situation is such that only two of three teams, Sunrisers Hyderabad, KKR and KXIP will find a place in the playoffs. However, both KKR and SRH are slightly better off than the Mohali-based side. KXIP need to win their two remaining matches and hope that the results in the other matches go in their favour.

On the other hand, their opponents and hosts for today’s game, the Mumbai Indians, have already qualified for the knockout stages. They have lost just three matches this year, the last of which came against SRH in the last game in Hyderabad. Mumbai will be keen on bouncing back from the defeat and ensure a top-two finish later today.

Mumbai’s top order has fired throughout the tournament – something that KXIP need to be wary of. The hosts do not have any issues whatsoever with their team combination. Even though Jos Buttler is set to leave for England and miss the last leg of the IPL, Mumbai do have a very able replacement in Lendl Simmons, who got going straight away.

They will hope that Nitish Rana can regain his purple patch as the tournament draws to an end. The fact that captain Rohit Sharma was back amongst the runs in the last game will worry the Kings XI thinktank. Their bowling has performed well collectively with Jasprit Bumrah impressing the most.

KXIP, for their part, seems to have found the perfect combination just at the right time. Hashim Amla’s early departure must have hurt them, but if one of Manan Vohra, Martin Guptill or Shaun Marsh can fire at the top, they can put up a strong fight. Also, if Maxwell can land a few lusty blows towards the end, Mumbai will be in trouble.

The Kings XI bowlers were at their very best against KKR in the last game and they need to bowl in tight areas today as well to restrict the opposition batting attack. Sandeep Sharma will have to give the initial breakthroughs while Rahul Tewatia, who impressed against KKR, will have a key role to play yet again.

Also Read: IPL 2017: Mumbai Indians - a proven recipe for success

Match date: 11-05-2017
Match time: 2000 (IST)
Venue: Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai

Prediction

The wicket at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai has usually favoured the batsmen. However, as the tournament has progressed, the wicket has become a tad bit sluggish, thus making it slightly difficult for the batsmen. Also, with the dew expected to be a major factor in the second innings, the captain winning the toss should elect to field first.

KXIP have won two and lost three while chasing. When batting first, they have won four and lost three. They do not seem to have a forte of chasing or defending when it comes to winning a match. In stark contrast, Mumbai have lost just one match while chasing down a total. Clearly, they will favour batting second.

KXIP, certainly, are a batting heavy team. In Guptill, Marsh and Maxwell, they have a formidable trio of attacking batsman who have proven themselves both at the international stage as well as in the IPL. They can chase down any total put up on the board by the opposition and Mumbai need to have plans ready for them. 

Mumbai, though, have a pretty much balanced team. If the batting line-up is a well-oiled machine, their bowling is even more effective in this format of the game. The presence of all-rounders like Kieran Pollard, Hardik Pandya and Krunal Pandya gives them a superior advantage when it comes to team composition. On paper, they are definitely the favourites going into the match.

Punjab do not have any quality all-rounders other than Axar Patel. Moreover, the inexperience in KXIP’s bowling attack is something that may come back to haunt them. The likes of Matt Henry, Mohit Sharma among others can be effective on some days, but on others, they will be torn apart by a batting line-up as dangerous as that of Mumbai’s.

All said, there is that added motivation that will drive the KXIP players. Being in a do-or-die situation, they have nothing to lose and are most likely to come out on the field and give their 100%. That is something which can decide the outcome of the match.

If MI bat first: Predicted Score – 160; Predicted Winners – KXIP

If KXIP bat first: Predicted Score – 170; Predicted Winners – MI

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