Defending champions Mumbai Indians (MI) and IPL 2021 points table bottom dwellers SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH) will be squaring off in the second last game of the league stage of the tournament at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium tonight. Their chances of making it into the playoffs are entirely wagered on this penultimate game of the league stage of the tournament.
The competition has been stiff this time around for the fourth spot of the playoffs. While the Chennai Super Kings (CSK), Delhi Capitals, and Royal Challengers Bangalore glided their way into the top three qualifiers being the favourites this season, it has been quite a tricky affair for the 2020 champions, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), Punjab Kings (PBKS), and Rajasthan Royals (RR). SRH was the first to lose the race and couldn’t even stand in contention for the final four given they have won only three out of thirteen games so far. RR blew away their chances of securing the last berth in the playoffs, courtesy of their utterly disappointing performances in the last two games, which only ended up helping the causes of KKR and MI.
KKR’s humongous win against RR has also marred the chances of PBKS to climb up the ladder, as the victory has nearly secured the last spot in the top four for them.
KKR’s colossal victory over RR at Sharjah in last night’s one-sided match have severely slimmed the chances of MI making it into the playoffs. With the help of their highest target of 171 runs this season, KKR won the game comprehensively by 86 runs, which have boosted their NRR to +0.587. On the other hand, MI is at -0.048 NRR.
Here’s a look at the IPL 2021 Points Table after Thursday’s clash between KKR and RR
While the first half of the tournament was a banal affair for the Eoin Morgan-led outfit, their comeback in the second leg of the tournament has been phenomenal. It has had a huge impact, especially on MI as it has put them in a tight spot in the race for the playoffs.
If MI wishes to see their name flash in the league qualifiers, they will have to win against SRH by at least 171 runs or more, which at this stay is clearly a far-fetched aim for them until and unless they pull off a miracle similar to 2014. Meaning, it not only depends on their batting but also on luck as they have the chance of meeting the said target only if they win the toss and choose to bat first. By any chance, if MI manages to do so, it would be the biggest win in IPL.
The 55th match of IPL 2021 featuring MI and SRH will take place concurrently with the last game of the league stage, starring RCB and DC at 7:30 PM (IST). It will be the first time in the history of IPL that two matches of the tournament take place simultaneously.
Get all the latest cricket news, IPL 2021 news, IPL 2021 Points Table, IPL schedule, Cricket match Highlights, Match Report, IPL ball by ball updates live score, IPL live commentary, IPL live cricket match updates on MadOverCricket