The regular season in the Indian Premier League comes to a close with a double header of action on Sunday as the Mumbai Indians look to extend their IPL 2023 campaign when they play host to the Sunrisers Hyderabad.
The equation for Mumbai is a simple one. They must win and hope that Bangalore lose later in the day to make it into the final stages of the competition. Hyderabad will close out their campaign here regardless of the result.
If the Mumbai Indians don’t make it through to the final stage of the competition then they will rue their last match. They needed 88 from 10.2 overs to see off rivals for the top four positions in the Lucknow Super Giants and despite oceans of batting could only come up five runs short. Had they won that match then a win here would have secured their top four spot irrelevant of other results but now they have to win and hope.
If the Indians are going to win this match then their batting, especially in the middle order, has to be right on it against an opponent that has nothing to lose. They won’t want to rely on their bowling on a pitch which is notorious for offering nothing to the bowlers and where the ball always whizzes around a lot. The bigger the win they achieve they might force Bangalore not just to win but will need them to win by a certain margin which will add pressure on them.
The Sunrisers Hyderabad will fail to qualify for the finals once again but they will avoid the wooden spoon in the competition if they can come out with a win here. Just how motivated they will be to come off the bottom of the table remains to be seen but nobody wants to be the worst of any tournament they enter so you would imagine that there will be some will to come out of this match and indeed their season in positive fashion.
The bowling just hasn’t come up trumps at all for the Sunrisers Hyderabad this season. They have been more competitive the longer the campaign has gone on but aside from their bowlers not giving them a foothold in matches, they haven’t been able to find a successful top three and although their middle order have been delivering fireworks they have often been left with too much to do or needing to do too much because of their lack of strength with the ball.
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You get the impression that this is the sort of match where Tim David might need to come in and either get the Mumbai Indians over the line or deliver a blitz which guarantees that they will get the job done.
Heinrich Klaasen has finished the season as well as anyone in the competition and if he has another blitz in him then he could lead the Sunrisers Hyderabad to success and very much throw himself out there for the other franchise events.
Depending on where you shop you can get a sixes line for this match between 17.5 and 19.5 and it is the lower end of the scale that I am interested in. I say that because this ground has had the most sixes of any of the stadiums used in the competition this season and that is no surprise to anyone because the ball flies miles at the Wankhede and the pitch is nearly always a belter for batting and I don’t see any different here.
Both these teams have plenty of firepower in their ranks and I think it is fair to say that both have bowling units which are easy to expose so I expect this to be a high scoring match. There might come a time in the contest if they are chasing where Mumbai Indians put the gear into overdrive and try to win as quickly as possible for their net run rate but on a ground which isn’t overly big where the likes of Rohit Sharma, Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, Tim David, Cameron Green, Heinrich Klaasen, Harry Brook and Glenn Phillips could all be batting for us I think we’ll go beyond 17.5 sixes in this one.
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