Tonight, the Kolkata Knight Riders face the Mumbai Indians in the final league stage match. The venue for this collision course is the Wankhede stadium, Mumbai’s own turf. As has been stated ad infinitum, the Mumbai Indians are under no pressure, at all. This is because they have already secured a berth in the IPL 2019 playoffs. But it is crunch time for KKR, especially with SRH losing and KXIP being handed a tough match.
Three out of four slots are filled and three teams are vying for that one remaining slot. The contenders are, the Sunrisers Hyderabad, the Kolkata Knight Riders and the Kings XI Punjab. The Sunrisers currently hold that ‘oh-so-important’ 4th place, however they lost to the Royal Challengers Bangalore last night.
This has now made them very vulnerable to an attack from KXIP and KKR. However, Punjab have their work cut out as they are up against the Chennai Super Kings. Given that Chennai have been very strong off late, Punjab could find it difficult, unless they can pull off an upset.
Meanwhile, the Kolkata Knight Riders square off against the Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede Stadium. Mumbai are a difficult team to best, but its not impossible, especially for a team like KKR.
However Mumbai have been known to be strong at home and KKR have been on a three game losing streak. But Mumbai have been on a win-lose-win-lose streak, and since they won their last game, there is a chance that they can lose and keep the pattern going.
On top of that, the Sunrisers will be praying for the Indians to win. This is because, if Mumbai win, both, the Sunrisers Hyderabad and the Kolkata Knight Riders will be level on 12 points. But the Sunrisers will go through as they have the better net run rate. In other words, losing is not an option for KKR skipper Dinesh Karthik.