Mumbai Indians (MI) will face Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) in 2017 Indian Premier League (IPL) Qualifier 1 on May 16. Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) take on Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in Eliminator on May 17. The final is on May 21.
After 39 days of a topsy-turvy journey, IPL 2017 has finally reached its playoff stage. Mumbai Indians (20 points), Rising Pune Supergiant (18 points), Sunrisers Hyderabad (17 points) and Kolkata Knight Riders (16 points) have emerged as the top four teams.
Rising Pune Supergiant thrashed Kings XI Punjab by nine wickets in a crunch game in Pune, as King XI Punjab got eliminated from the next round of IPL. Supergiant chased down the target in 12 overs with eight overs to spare.
Ajinkya Rahane remained unbeaten on run-a-ball 34 whereas skipper Steven Smith remained not out on 15 off 18 balls. On the other hand, Mumbai Indians had been consistent throughout the season and thus finished top.
Rahane set the chase up with 60 at a strike rate of 176.47, and Smith steered them home with an ice-cool, unbeaten 84 off 54 balls. Mumbai Indians had never lost in the IPL after scoring 184 or more. Smith walked out after Pune lost an early wicket, and batted right through the chase. He was happy to slip into the background early on when Ajinkya Rahane blazed his way to 60 off 34 balls. They started their campaign with a win.
HEAD TO HEAD:
The two teams have so far met four times and Pune has won three while the remaining one match went to the Mumbai Indians.
OVERVIEW OVER THINK TANK:
Steve Smith termed Ben Stokes to be a big loss for the team in the Play-Offs and said the team will surely miss his presence. “Yeah, we have a couple of options for Stokes. He has been magnificent and will be a big loss. Hopefully, the other guys will stand up for us,” he said.
Stokes – the costliest player of IPL – who will leave for national duty, scored 316 runs from 12 games with 103 not out being his highest. With the ball, the English all-rounder picked up 12 wickets from as many games. Bowlers like Unadkat and Shardul would be key to Pune.
Mumbai would look to continue their form. Rohit would love to hit more shots and depend on lower middle order.
The match would be at Wankhede, Mumbai’s fortress, and Rohit’s team are favourites. A toss would be crucial for the game. The dew factor would play a huge role. A decent total of 180-190 would not be enough to defend.