Mumbai Indians v Kolkata Knight Riders, IPL 2012, Mumbai May 15, 2012

Close race to finish in top two

Match facts

Wednesday, May 16, Mumbai
Start time 2000 (1430 GMT)

Big Picture

The contrast between Kolkata Knight Riders and Mumbai Indians was there to see on Monday. Knight Riders' batting, dependent so much on Gautam Gambhir's golden run this season, lost momentum after his dismissal against Chennai Super Kings. Mumbai Indians' line-up recovered from 51 for 5 to chase down 172 against Royal Challengers Bangalore.

After a run of six consecutive wins, Knight Riders lost their previous two games while Mumbai Indians racked up consecutive wins. Rohit Sharma's fluent hitting stunned Knight Riders the first time these sides met this season on May 12 at the Eden Gardens.

Mumbai Indians return to Wankhede Stadium after two away games. They have lost four out of seven home matches this season, and Harbhajan Singh has said that they haven't known what to expect from the Wankhede pitch.

Both teams would want to finish in the top two to boost their chances of making the final and avoid the eliminator. Knight Riders' loss to Mumbai Indians in their final league game last season dragged them down to fourth position; they then went on to lose the eliminator to third-placed Mumbai Indians.

Sachin Tendulkar could miss the match as he is expected to take his oath as a Member of Parliament in the Rajya Sabha in New Delhi.

Form guide

(most recent first, completed games)

Mumbai Indians: WWLWW
Kolkata Knight Riders: LLWWW

Watch out for

Mumbai Indians' on-field behaviour has been appalling this season. Their captain, Harbhajan Singh, not known for his calmness, has been involved in a confrontation with umpires, as has been Munaf Patel. Munaf has, in fact, been downright boorish, having repeated arguments with umpires and several batsmen. Ambati Rayudu was the latest transgressor on Monday, losing his entire match fee for his bust-up with Harshal Patel of Royal Challengers.

While Jacques Kallis is usually a steady scorer, this season has been a crawl even by his modest standards. A strike-rate of 104.94 in 13 innings has gone largely unnoticed due to Gambhir's brilliance. Kallis, however, has taken 10 wickets at an economy-rate of 7.45.

Stats and trivia

  • Gambhir has made six half-centuries this season. The rest of his team mates have just contributed three.
  • Mumbai Indians have a home win-loss ratio of 1.54 in the IPL; Knight Riders have an away win-loss ratio of 1.00.


    "He had told me during the match that if I bat for 20 overs, I'd win the match. When I returned, he caught hold of me and said, 'I had told you so'."
    Ambati Rayudu on what Sachin Tendulkar told him during the chase against Royal Challengers

    Abhishek Purohit is an editorial assistant at ESPNcricinfo