It has finally come down to last league game to decide whether Sunrisers Hyderabad or Kolkata Knight Riders will be the fourth team to join Mumbai Indians, Delhi Capitals and Royals Challengers Bangalore in this year’s IPL playoffs. A better script than this cannot be written.
Out of the 13 editions of the Indian Premier League, this year has got to be the most competitive edition that fans have witnessed. For the first time in the league’s history, every team has finished on 12 points or above.
Last season, one team managed to qualify with just 12 points and a superior Net Run Rate. That team was the Sunrisers Hyderabad. Today, SRH has one last chance to make it to this year’s playoff and have the second best run rate among all teams except Mumbai Indians. Last year, SRH qualified thanks to a better NRR narrowly edging KKR for the fourth spot despite finishing with the same amount of points. A win against defending champions today, will see them pip KKR once again to qualify for this year’s playoffs.
KKR will be closely watching this match and will be cheering the Mumbai Indians to win this game. Having qualified, MI on the other hand will look to rest some of their players as they play the first qualifiers against Delhi Capitals just 48 hours after today’s match. The last thing MI would want is their key players picking a niggle in today’s game. A good chance for new youngsters to get a game.
Coming into this game, SRH are high on confidence as they convincingly beat DC and RCB. With the bowlers stepping up big time, the batsmen are playing aggressive and their body language has been positive. Despite losing multiple players to injury, SRH have still showed strength and have managed to beat some top sides to get a shot at the playoffs. Mumbai will be that final hurdle. If SRH win, they qualify to the playoffs. If they don’t KKR qualifies.
With the game being played at Sharjah, it will be interesting see what happens at the toss. Despite chasing a low score in the last game, SRH almost managed to mess it up until Jason Holder smashed a quick fire 26 runs off 10 balls, taking the Hyderabad franchise over the line. For Mumbai, they would want to do well but will be under lesser pressure compared to the SRH.