Bangalore v Mumbai, IPL 2011, Chennai May 26, 2011

Bowling gives Mumbai slight edge

Madhusudhan Ramakrishnan
In what is a clash of two evenly-balanced teams, it could be the variety in the bowling that gives Mumbai an edge

After an extraordinary finish to their last league game against Kolkata where they scored 21 runs off the final over to win a tight contest, Mumbai very nearly botched up a far easier chase in the eliminator against the same opponents. While this ensures Champions League qualification, it also gives them a chance to upstage Bangalore in the next knockout game and set up a replay of last year's final against Chennai. After a few bad performances which nearly led to their elimination, Mumbai raised their game in the last couple of games and will carry confidence from these wins and the fact that they beat Bangalore comfortably in the only meeting between the two sides earlier in the tournament.

The situation is slightly different with Bangalore though; they had a tremendous run of seven consecutive wins after Chris Gayle's entry. A huge loss to Punjab was followed by an emphatic win over Chennai in their last group game. However, in the qualifier clash with Chennai, they suffered from a bad bowling performance in the end overs and went down by six wickets. Although Bangalore lost to Mumbai in their previous meeting, they will be aware that since then, they have been boosted greatly by Gayle, who has been the player of the match on five occasions.

Mumbai and Bangalore in the IPL
Team Overall (Played, Won) IPL 2011 (Played, Won) Head-to-head Bat avg(2011) Bowl avg(2011) RR(2011) ER(2011)
Mumbai 58, 33 15, 10 5 29.00 21.19 7.46 7.35
Bangalore 60, 30 14, 9 3 31.89 29.25 8.41 7.98

Bangalore have been the more aggressive batting side in the first six overs and in the middle overs. Mumbai's top-order batsmen have been cautious and focussed on establishing a strong platform. Bangalore, aided by Gayle's explosive starts, have scored at well over eight per over in the first and second innings in the first six-over period. Their boundary percentage is also much higher than that of Mumbai. The stats are more even in the last six-over period with both teams scoring at close to ten runs per over. On the bowling front, Mumbai dominate Bangalore in nearly all aspects. They have an impressive economy rate below six in the first-six over period. In the final overs also, they have a better economy rate than Bangalore's and have especially been more dominant when they have batted first.

Performance of the teams across and innings (RR, ER, boundary%)
Team Innings Overs(1-6)-bat Overs(7-14)- bat Overs(15-20)- bat Overs(1-6)- bowl Overs(7-14)- bowl Overs(15-20)- bowl
Mumbai 1 7.76, 63.85 6.78,41.01 9.91,62.18 5.64,55.69 7.46,45.93 8.59,55.34
Bangalore 1 8.76, 68.20 8.34, 53.93 10.87,64.36 6.95,59.47 7.93,48.80 9.74,52.47
Mumbai 2 7.09, 57.55 6.60,49.72 8.60,58.33 5.89,60.77 8.20,55.21 8.30,49.38
Bangalore 2 8.26, 70.90 7.23, 49.55 9.79,61.79 6.04,56.55 7.53,46.91 9.42,64.11

Mumbai's opening pair provided them with a solid start in the eliminator game against Kolkata and despite a few hiccups, the middle-order batsmen led by James Franklin saw them through. Ambati Rayudu and Sachin Tendulkar have shared two century stands in the tournament so far and will be the key once again if Mumbai are to post a challenging score against a team that prefers to chase. Bangalore, despite possessing some stong performers in the middle order, will be hoping that Gayle fires. Luke Pomersbach and Virat Kohli shared an excellent stand for the fourth wicket against Chennai, and together with AB de Villiers, they will be crucial to Bangalore's cause.

Lasith Malinga started with a wicket off his first ball in the previous game against Bangalore and although his form has tapered off a little in recent games, he is comfortably the highest wicket-taker and the biggest threat to Bangalore's chances. Harbhajan Singh, who is the highest wicket taker for Mumbai against Bangalore in the IPL with nine wickets in seven games, gives Mumbai an attacking option in the middle overs. Bangalore, on the other hand, will rely heavily on the experience of Daniel Vettori and Zaheer Khan, after a poor performance in the previous game.

Partnership stats for teams in IPL 2011 (RR, avg, 50+)
Team 1st wkt 2nd wkt 3rd wkt 4th wkt 5th wkt 6th wkt
Mumbai 7.58,26.20,3 7.28,42.00,5 6.78,29.58,3 7.55,29.09,2 7.31,3.00,1 8.72,16.00,0
Bangalore 9.74,32.35,4 8.40,58.09,6 7.01,32.50,2 7.96,23.90,1 8.71,30.28,0 9.00,24.00,1

Chennai, the venue for the second qualifier, is one of the most spin-friendly venues in the IPL. The home team have been exceptional at home and have defended very successfully. Considering the fact that six out of seven matches on this ground have been won by teams batting first, the team that wins the toss might be tempted to bat first irrespective of their previous record in the tournament.

Venue stats for Chennai
Wins (bat first/chasing) Avg, RR(1st inns) Avg, RR(2nd inns) Pace(wickets, ER) Spin(wickets,ER)
6/1 31.94, 7.98 23.27, 7.38 18, 8.26 15, 7.41