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May 9, 2009
Match factsMay 10, 2009
One team is looking to push its way up the points table after making an extremely slow start to IPL 2009; the other team is desperately trying to arrest a slide which has pushed them all the way down to seventh place. Neither Bangalore nor Mumbai have emerged as favourites to lift the trophy after three weeks of action, but neither is out of the reckoning for a top four berth. Only one point separates them, and with just four matches left for each after this one, the margin of error for both teams - and especially the side which loses on Sunday - is minimal.
Going into the match, Bangalore are the slight favourites on recent form. Though they were drubbed in their last game by Rajasthan, Bangalore have been impressive in the last couple of weeks, winning three in a row. Anil Kumble's captaincy has worked wonders, Jacques Kallis and Robin Uthappa have had big knocks at the top of the order, and Kumble has led the bowling attack with aplomb.
Mumbai's fortunes, on the other hand, have nosedived after an impressive start and they are in danger of earning the underachiever's tag in IPL 2009. A team which boasts Sachin Tendulkar, Sanath Jayasuriya, JP Duminy, Dwayne Bravo, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan and Lasith Malinga should be doing much better than three wins out of eight, but the big names have mostly misfired, and even Malinga has cooled off after an electrifying start to the tournament. And the fact that they've already won their two games against Kolkata, the punching bags of the IPL, doesn't help their cause.
Form guide (completed matches, most recent first)
Royal Challengers Bangalore: LWWWL
The batting has lifted in the last few games, but they're still prone to collapsing - as they showed against Rajasthan - thus putting far too pressure on the bowlers.
Mumbai Indians: LLLWL
The batting has been patchy, with only JP Duminy among the runs consistently. Even he hasn't always scored at the rate his team would like him to.
Watch out for
Royal Challengers Bangalore: (probable) 1 Jacques Kallis, 2 Sreevats Goswami, 3 Robin Uthappa, 4 Rahul Dravid, 5 Virat Kohli, 6 Mark Boucher (wk), 7 Roelof van der Merwe, 8 Dillon du Preez, 9 Pravin Kumar, 10 Vinay Kumar, 11 Anil Kumble (capt).
The move to push Tendulkar down the order failed spectacularly on Friday, and it's likely he will move back to the top of the order. With Luke Ronchi failing too, Sanath Jayasuriya could partner him again.
Mumbai Indians: (probable) 1 Sanath Jayasuriya, 2 Sachin Tendulkar (capt), 3 Pinal Shah (wk), 4 JP Duminy, 5 Dwayne Bravo, 6 Abhishek Nayar, 7 Ajinkya Rahane, 8 Harbhajan Singh, 9 Rohan Raje, 10 Dhawal Kulkarni, 11 Lasith Malinga.
Stats and trivia
As West Indies play their 500th Test, here's an interactive journey through their Test history
Also, high scores and low averages, most ducks in international cricket, and the 12-year-old Test player
In their pomp, West Indies had a 53-13 win-loss record; in their last 99, it is 16-53. That, in a nutshell, shows how steep the decline has been
Former New Zealand seamer Gavin Larsen talks about wobbly seam-up bowling, the 1992 World Cup, and his role in the next tournament
Following the bowling ban on Saeed Ajmal, ESPNcricinfo picks five bowlers Pakistan may replace him with for the time being
The thrills are rather low-octane, the skills are a bit lightweight, and the tournament overly India-centric
Teams need to start strategising now for next year's event by picking the right men for various roles. England need to get on it sooner than most
The planned reorganisation of their domestic structure should help the region recapture some of the glory it enjoyed in the past
Hundred in a session? Easy peasy for Doug Walters