The Kolkata Knight riders will be up against the Mumbai Indians in the 2nd Qualifiers match of IPL 10. Mumbai Indians lost the 1st Qualifiers, after being at the top of the league table, to Rising Pune Supergiants. Kolkata emerged victorious in the eliminator against the Sunrisers Hyderabad after restricting the later to 128 in their 20 overs. The match was shortened due to a rain delay and the KKR team won by the Duckworth-Lewis method.
In the MI vs RPS match, the excellence of Rahane and Dhoni led them to a score of 162. But the MI team in return could only reach 142 after their top and middle order was shaken by the RPS surprise spinner Washington Sundar. He finished with his career-best spell of 3 for 16 in 4 overs. He maintained the most modest economies of all the RPS bowlers. Similar bowling performance was witnessed in the eliminator from the KKR team. Nathan Coulter-Nile and Umesh Yadav disrupted the SRH middle order where Chawla was successful in sending back the dangerous Warner.
The next match on the schedule is the 2nd qualifier between the East and West. In the 10 seasons so far, the MI and KKR team have faced each other 20 times and only once have they confronted in a playoffs match. Out of the 20 matches, KKR has managed to win just 5. In fact, the Kolkata team has the lowest win percentage against the Mumbai Indians in all seasons.
The Kolkata team did not enjoy a very fruitful 2008 and 09 season as they failed to qualify for the playoffs on both the occasions. They had lost all four matches against Mumbai during this time. Their first match against Mumbai saw them succumb to a score of 67 which is KKR’s lowest aggregate total to date. It is also the third lowest score in IPL overall.
KKR was not able to register a win against MI till their second league match in 2010 where MI was restricted to 133 and the KKR easily chased it with 9 wickets in hand. Their next win was in 2012 which was Sunil Narine’s maiden season in the team. In the match against MI, their bowling tactics fell into the right spot and Narine sent 4 of the MI batsmen packing. Narine took 24 wickets in all that season which made him a hot property for the team and KKR still retained him in the squad.
KKR qualified for the playoffs for the first time in 2011. It was the only time that they faced MI in the playoffs. MI and KKR were ranked 3rd and 4th in that season in the league so they faced each other in the eliminator match. KKR was able to set only a low target of 148 in front of the Mumbai crowd at the Wankhede. Ryan ten Doeschate was the highest scorer for Kolkata with 70 off 49 deliveries. Any target below 170 in Wankhede at that time was considered a cakewalk. The Mumbai team proved it right by chasing it successfully in 19.2 overs.
In 2012, Rohit Sharma scored his only IPL century against KKR. He along with Herschelle Gibbs put up a 167 runs partnership for the second wicket. This still stands as the highest partnership for the Mumbai team for any wicket. KKR in return could only manage to score 155. But Kallis’ performance in the match was worth noticing as he scored 79 off 60. KKR, however, went on to win that season. The following season saw MI dominate KKR by winning in both of their encounters and finally the IPL trophy also.
In 2014, the KKR team was in top form. They finished second in the league after KXIP and beat Mumbai in both their matches. Here too Narine penetrated through the Mumbai batting claiming 5 wickets in the two matches. Uthappa and Kallis were the other highlights of the matches. Everybody remembers the 2015 season as when the Mumbai Indians from being the underdogs rose from a do or die situation to win the league. The first match of the season was KKR vs MI where the later was defeated by 7 wickets. But MI came back with a bang in their next outing and defeated them by 5 runs in a nail-biting match.
The Kolkata team have been unable to beat the Mumbaikars since then. They lost both their league games in 2016 as well as in 2017. Rohit Sharma was the Man of the match in both the matches in 2016 while chasing above 170 targets in both of them. This year the whole Mumbai have been successful in performing as a squad. All of their players have played valuable cameos when their team required it. It helped them retain the No.1 spot at the table.
Though MI have won both their matches against KKR this season, they have now lost 3 of their last 4 matches which do not show a sign of positivity in their camp. KKR however, are coming from a brilliant bowling performance against the SRH. So predicting the winner of the 2nd Qualifiers at this moment will be undermining the capabilities of one of the two teams.