Mumbai seek to stay alive, Delhi seek pride
Friday, May 23, 2014
Start time 1600 local (1030 GMT)
Following a morale-boosting win against Kings XI Punjab, Mumbai Indians find themselves in with a chance, albeit a tough one, of sneaking into the playoffs. Mumbai's last two league games are at home, and both are undoubtedly must-win ones, but they also need help from other teams to stay in contention.
With Kolkata Knight Riders beating Royal Challengers Bangalore and Sunrisers Hyderabad beating Chennai Super Kings on Thursday, Mumbai now find themselves in a race with Sunrisers and Rajasthan Royals for the last playoff spot. If Kings XI beat Royals, the last league match between Mumbai and Royals will decide which team makes it to the top four - and progression will depend on net run rate in Mumbai's case. If, however, Royals beat Kings XI, Mumbai and Sunrisers will be out of the race.
In Daredevils, they have an opposition that has struggled all season; the only thing at stake for Daredevils is pride. That can be an oddly liberating thing, though, especially for the marquee players who have lurched from the 30-somethings to single-digit scores regularly. The odds are stacked heavily against them, but all of the pressure is on Mumbai, giving Daredevils the freedom to play fearless cricket.
Mumbai Indians: WWLWL (most recent first, completed matches only)
Delhi Daredevils: LLLLL
Where they stand
Mumbai Indians: Sixth on the points table, with five wins in 12 games
Delhi Daredevils: Last, with two wins in 12 games
Delhi Daredevils notched up their second win of the tournament the last time the two met. Shahbaz Nadeem, JP Duminy and Wayne Parnell all gave away less than five runs an over as Mumbai were stifled to 125 for 6. M Vijay's 40 and an unbeaten 18-ball 26 from Kevin Pietersen then took Daredevils to a six-wicket win the 19th over.
Watch out for
Brought in to lend some stability into a shaky top order, Lendl Simmons has found his feet in the IPL. In five innings, he has scored 280 runs at an average of 70 with one century and two fifties. In the last two games, his partnerships with Michael Hussey have set the foundations for Mumbai's wins.
M Vijay is one of three current players in the IPL to have two or more hundreds in the tournament. Both came for his old franchise, Chennai Super Kings. This is shaping to be a poor season for him - he has 199 runs in 10 games - and the fact that Daredevils have nothing to lose could spur him on to finish the tournament on a strong note.
Stats and trivia
- Among all partnerships to score at least 100 runs for Mumbai this season, the pair of Michael Hussey and Lendl Simmons have been the quickest. They have added 188 runs while opening the innings in two games. The pair have also added only the second century-partnership for Mumbai this season
- Kieron Pollard is the second batsman after Chris Gayle to have hit 300 sixes in T20 cricket
- With seven successive losses, Delhi Daredevils are one defeat away from equaling their worst streak of successive losses in the IPL - eight across 2012-13
- Seven teams have picked up 56 or more wickets in this IPL. Delhi Daredevils, however, have only taken 41 wickets and their economy rate of 8.44 is the worst for this season
"Since Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard have played for Mumbai Indians, they always vouched for me to the owners that I am a good player and that they should bid for me."
Lendl Simmons credits his West Indies and Trinidad & Tobago team-mates for bringing him into the IPL
Rachna Shetty is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo