Indian Premier League’s preliminary round is into its climactic phase. Only Mumbai Indians have qualified for the playoffs officially. However, if you consider the mathematical possibilities, you can see Kolkata Knight Riders too have reached the next stage. There is no way they could be out of the tournament, because of their superior net run rate. Three teams elbow against each other for the two remaining slots: Hyderabad Sunrisers, Kings XI Punjab and Rising Pune Supergiant.
Three of the above-mentioned five teams are in action in today’s double header:
- Gujarat Lions vs Hyderabad Sunrisers
- Kolkata Knight Riders vs Mumbai Indians
This will be the final league game for all these teams. This could be the last chance for cricket betting for some of the teams. The odds are attractive as well.
Gujarat Lions vs Hyderabad Sunrisers – Preview
Gujarat Lions have nothing to lose. If they win, they will be doing a great favour to Rising Pune Supergiant. If Lions win, Supergiant will qualify. Hyderabad Sunrisers need a win. If they win, they will qualify. Not only that they retain a chance to finish at the top-two position too. A loss, on the other hand, will put their position in jeopardy. It will not be all over for them, though. They have to pray that Pune Supergiant beat Kings XI Punjab in the last match. If that happens, they can reach the playoffs as the last team, even if they lose against Lions.
David Warner and company will not want such a situation when a win over Gujarat Lions can seal the deal for them. As a team, they are superior to Gujarat Lions. However, of late, it has been seen that if Warner exits early, the team tends to struggle.
Our Prediction: Necessity is the mother of all wins. Sunrisers are desperate for a win. They are going to win (check match odds).
Kolkata Knight Riders vs Mumbai Indians – Preview
They have been the best two teams in the league phase. It would not be a surprise if they meet in the playoffs and may also in the finals. The situation is such that both the teams have qualified. Mumbai Indians have 18 points. KKR have 16 points. Even if Sunrisers win against Lions, Kings XI defeat Supergiant tomorrow, and KKR lose against Mumbai in this match, KKR will qualify. If that happens, Mumbai Indians will end up with 20 points, Sunrisers with 17 points and Kings XI, Supergiant and KKR with 16 points apiece. That will be when net run rate comes to play. The Kolkata team has a better net run rate than both Kings XI and Supergaint. So, they will qualify anyway. However, a win for KKR will ensure that they will finish in the top two.
It may not look like so, but Mumbai Indians will finish in the top two irrespective of the result of this match. If they lose today and Pune Supergiant win against Kings XI, three teams – Mumbai Indians, Knight Riders and Supergiant – finish with 18 points apiece. Pune’s net run rate is so low that they will not be able to finish in the top two.
That means Mumbai can play without any tension. They have sealed their spot in the top two. KKR need a win to ensure a top-two finish. The permutation and combination is such that they could finish in the second position even if they lose this match. But Gautam Gambhir and his men will want to ensure a win in this match, than wait for others’ mercy.
Our Prediction: KKR play at home and are desperate for a win. They will beat Mumbai Indians to ensure an encore in the playoffs. You can check the Match Odds here.