According to Cricinfo, All Mumbai Indians have to do to make the fourth and last playoff spot their own is beat bottom-placed Delhi Daredevils. Victory will take them to 14 points, and their net run rate is better than Rajasthan Royals (14 points) and out of reach of Kings XI Punjab (12 points with a game in hand).
If Mumbai lose, they are out, and the fourth spot will go to either Royals or Kings XI.
Rohit Sharma’s men, however, are experienced at pulling off last-minute heists. With Kieron Pollard finally among the runs, their batting unit looks much better than it did in the first half of the tournament. And considering the pitch at the Feroz Shah Kotla has been slow, bowlers who take pace off the ball, like spearhead Jasprit Bumrah, should be able to thrive. Their one major concern is the form of their captain.
Daredevils have won only four games this season, despite a wholesale revamp of their squad from 2017. They did beat second-placed Chennai Super Kings in their previous game, though, and their young players will be keen on another major scalp before their season ends.
In the news
The Daredevils legspinners. The 17-year-old Lamichhane and the 35-year-old Amit Mishra were breathtakingly accurate against CSK, picking up three wickets in their combined eight overs while going at less than a run-a-ball. MS Dhoni’s team chose to play them out and attack the fast bowlers in the final overs, but Trent Boult and Harshal Patel were prepared. They bowled slow and far away from MS Dhoni’s reach to nullify his big-hitting ability. It was a well-thought out plan on a pitch where strokeplay was difficult. Mumbai’s batting is rather similar to CSK, so it could work again.
A show of individual brilliance – Jason Roy’s unbeaten 91 off 53 – contributed to Mumbai’s poor start to the season. Mumbai made 194 for 7 at the Wankhede and Daredevils chased it down in the final over.
Delhi Daredevils 1 Prithvi Shaw, 2 Shreyas Iyer (capt), 3 Rishabh Pant (wk), 4 Glenn Maxwell, 5 Vijay Shankar, 6 Abhishek Sharma, 7 Harshal Patel, 8 Amit Mishra, 9 Sandeep Lamichhane, 10 Trent Boult, 11 Avesh Khan
Mumbai Indians: 1 Evin Lewis, 2 Suryakumar Yadav, 3 Rohit Sharma (capt), 4 Ishan Kishan (wk), 5 Hardik Pandya, 6 Kieron Pollard, 7 Krunal Pandya, 8 Ben Cutting, 9 Mitchell McClenaghan, 10 Jasprit Bumrah, 11 Mayank Markande
Hardik Pandya is set to play his 50th IPL match and he should be looking forward to the contest against Pant. In this season, Hardik has bowled 10.5 overs to left-handers, going for 78 runs and picking up five wickets. Similarly, Trent Boult could be useful against Ishan Kishan and Krunal Pandya. He has bowled 14.3 overs at left-handers for 112 runs and six wickets.
Stats that matter
- Boult needs three wickets to register 100 in T20s.
- For the first 11 games, Daredevils’ spinners had an economy rate of 8.45 and conceded a boundary every 6.6 deliveries. In the last two, after Lamichhane’s inclusion, those figures have become a lot better: economy rate 6.28, balls-per-boundary 9.8.
- Mumbai’s spinners, on the other hand, are going in the wrong direction. They took 18 wickets at an economy rate of 7.8 in the first seven games. But in the last six, they have only struck seven times while going at 8.4 per over
- Evin Lewis needs nine runs to the 3000 mark in T20s
Jasprit Bumrah, although you might have to be a bit patient for a return on investment. In IPL 2018, he’s taken only three wickets in the Powerplay and middle overs but is sensational in the death: 20.1 overs, 13 wickets, 7.9 economy rate, and 6.3 balls between boundaries.