CSK, MI's fate in Yorkshire's hands
Match factsOctober 20, 2012
Start time 1730 (1530 GMT)
Big PictureChennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians are not yet out of the tournament, but by the end of Saturday's round of Group B matches, at least one team will join Kolkata Knight Riders on the list of knocked-out teams. The match between the two IPL giants is preceded by a game between Lions, who are playing at their home ground, and Yorkshire. If Lions win, they will join Sydney Sixers as the second team from the group in the semis. However, if Yorkshire sneak out their first win, the winner of the match between Super Kings and Mumbai Indians will get a two-day lifeline, while the loser will be knocked out.
Both teams are evenly matched, having put 150-plus totals every time they have batted and having given away 150-plus runs every time they have bowled. The batting and bowling for both teams have been patchy and the thrust has mainly come from their overseas players. Big Indian names - such as Sachin Tendulkar, Rohit Sharma, MS Dhoni, Dinesh Karthik, R Ashwin, Harbhajan Singh - are yet to produce a performance of note. Playing against each other, which they have done quite often, gives both teams an even (perhaps their best) chance to get the valuable four points to avoid the bottom finish.
However, irrespective of the permutations within the table, on Saturday, weather permitting, an IPL team will win. It has been that kind of a tournament for Twenty20 cricket's high flyers. A short format means that the teams' fates are decided even before they have got a chance to adjust to the markedly different conditions from what they are used to. That also means their best cricket could be round the corner now that they have spent more than a week in South Africa.
Watch out for...
Faf du Plessis has scored 43 and 25 in two innings at the top of the order. His familiarity with the South African conditions has allowed the other batsmen to play around him in the first six overs when the pitches are at their most responsive. If he can provide a strong start, the middle-order is likely to find the rest of the familiar Mumbai Indians' attack fairly comfortable to negotiate.
While Sachin Tendulkar has struggled as an opener, Dwayne Smith has teed off from the word go. He opened the match against Yorkshire with a couple of huge hits and like du Plessis for Super Kings, he will have the responsibility of neutralizing the threat from Doug Bollinger and Ben Hilfenhaus.
Stats and trivia
- Suresh Raina is the only batsman in the two teams to score a half-century in the tournament. He made 57 against Sydney Sixers
- Mumbai Indians have won seven of their 12 matches against Super Kings. In their only meeting in the Champions League, they beat Super Kings by three wickets.
Quotes"We'll be sending our masseurs and physios to the Yorkshire team to help them sort out all the hamstring problems of their fast bowlers. We want Yorkshire to get on the park fit for their game against the Lions and surprise them."
Shaun Pollock, the Mumbai Indians' bowling coach
Devashish Fuloria is a sub-editor with ESPNcricinfo