Sports

IPL 2017: Match Preview: Qualifier 1 - MI V/s RPS

IPL 2017: Match Preview: Qualifier 1 - MI V/s RPS

The team to lose the match will play Qualifier 2 with the winning team of Eliminator.

In a game that swung from one side to the other, Kings XI Punjab came up trumps to record a thrilling seven run win over Mumbai Indians on May 11 (Thursday) and keep their hopes of qualifying for the 2017 IPL playoffs alive.

Having also lost the services of Imran Tahir last week due to similar reasons, Pune will be without two of their most important overseas players for this match.

For the Mumbai Indians, batting holds the edge over their bowling with in-form opening batsmen Parthiv Patel and Lendl Simmons performing on their day can smash some big hits. Whereas, Mumbai, who have no such worries apart from the loss of Jos Buttler, also to global duty, will start as clear favorites, on home turf, with most of their big names in the excellent form. "I mean the players who got out had been informing the next batsman that it's a slow wicket and even then if you throw away wickets, it means that you're not up for the game".

However, Pune will be without their key performer this season - Stokes as he has headed back to England ahead of the series against South Africa.

For Rising Pune Supergiant, making the playoffs has been a huge turnaround from the time when they were at the floor of the table; eleven days into the season, RPS were eighth in the standings with just one win from four matches. A team that was reeling at the bottom of the points table in the last season have finished in the second place in the ongoing season of the IPL. So, the RPS need to find the flawless replacement on upcoming matches.

Shardul Thakur of Rising Pune Supergiant celebrates after picking up the wicket of Kings XI Punjabs Shaun Marsh during the Indian Premier League match at Pune, on Sunday.

It is hard for the RPS to bring any new player at this end of series for finals.

However, there will be some Kiwi flare in the remaining IPL matches, with Mitchell McClenaghan, Tim Southee (Mumbai), Trent Boult, Colin de Grandhomme (Kolkata), Kane Williamson (Hyderabad) and Lockie Ferguson (Pune) still in the title hunt. The team played 12 matches and won 9 games. On the bowling front, JaydevUnadkatwill be expected to continue the good work he has done through the season; the left-arm pacer has played ten matches so far, and has picked up at least one wicket in each outing.

Stokes, the costliest player of IPL, has scored 316 runs from 12 games with 103 not out being his highest.

"We have a couple of options (to replace) Stokes", said Smith, who is also the Australia captain. Kings XI Punjab's last match is on Sunday against Rising Pune Supergiant. However, the MI made six chances in the last game batting lineup.


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