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Do-or-die for Kings XI Punjab

Do-or-die for Kings XI Punjab
Highlights

Kings XI Punjab will once again be facing a \'do-or-die\' situation during their penultimate round encounter against table toppers Mumbai Indians in Vivo Indian Premier League-2017 here on Thursday.For Mumbai Indians, who are on 18 points from 12 games, the primary aim is to maintain their pole position going into the play-offs.For Kings XI Punjab (12 points from 12 games), a slip against Mumbai Ind

Mumbai: Kings XI Punjab will once again be facing a 'do-or-die' situation during their penultimate round encounter against table toppers Mumbai Indians in Vivo Indian Premier League-2017 here on Thursday.For Mumbai Indians, who are on 18 points from 12 games, the primary aim is to maintain their pole position going into the play-offs.For Kings XI Punjab (12 points from 12 games), a slip against Mumbai Indians will mean that KKR (16 from 13), Rising Pune Supergiant (16 from 12) and defending champions Sunrisers Hyderabad (15 from 13) will be through even before playing their respective last league matches.

A loss on Thursday will mean that KXIP at best can go upto 14 points which will be futile.For Mumbai Indians, it will be a case of trying to regain the momentum after losing to Sunrisers Hyderabad in their last game.The Wankhede stadium is like a fortress for Mumbai Indians where they have lost only match this season – to Supergiant.For Mumbai, their batting has fired throughout the season.

When skipper Rohit Sharma, Nitish Rana, Parthiv Patel, West Indian Kiron Pollard and Lendl Simmons fire in unison, it can send jitters to any bowling line up in the world.Rohit, who has been included in the Indian team for Champions Trophy, had stuck a 67 run knock in 45 balls in their last game and he would like to continue his form on a batting friendly Wankhede track.

Moreover, Parthiv and Simmons will be eager to give the team a solid start, be it while chasing or batting first. Their biggest strength has been the bowling by seasoned off-spinner Harbhajan Singh, who has been economical.With bowlers like Kiwi pacer Mitchell McClenghan, who has grabbed 17 wickets so far, Sri Lankan seamer Lasith Malinga, death specialist Jasprit Bumrah, Harbhajan and Pandya brothers, the side has potential to restrict any formidable batting line up and Punjab would be no exception.

Malinga, who was slightly out of sorts, has regained form, and Mumbai will surely play him in their last home game.On the other hand, Punjab who outplayed Kolkata Night Riders on Tuesday night, will look to decimate the hosts.A nig win here will help them stay in the contention for play-offs. Their chances will get a major boost if the defending champions lose their final game.

Punjab has an elegant opener in Hashim Amla, the only man to score two hundreds this IPL. Their captain Aussie Glenn Maxwell, Kiwi Martin Guptill and Shaun Marsh will have to score big and help the team to post a gigantic total if they opt to bat first.

Their bastmen will be looking to convert starts and lay a foundation for a big total if batting first. The visitors will also have to get their combinations right in terms of both bowling and batting. Their pacers Sandeep Sharma, Mohit Sharma will have to bowl in right areas to restrict the MI batsman.

The role of spinner Axar Patel on a Wankhede wicket, where generally bowlers have to bowl slow, will be of paramount importance in the crucial match.A certain entertainment is on the cards for the crowd.Mumbai Indians, knowing the conditions better, will have an upper hand over their opponents. Quite apparently, they would love to continue their affair with the home city.

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