Match 28 IPL 2017 (2017-04-24) @ Mumbai (WS)
Pune are the only team to beat Mumbai this season at Pune. It was in the first match of the season for each of the teams. Mumbai batted first and scored 184. A Steve Smith inspired chase knocked the runs off with 1 ball to spare.
Pune suffered 3 consecutive defeats in a row after that. They have recently come back to form winning their last 2 matches. They now finally have a settled side with a deep batting line up and a reasonable bowling unit. MS Dhoni is back in form and the franchise won its first ever match batting first, against RCB last week.
Mumbai have won every match they have played since that first lose to Pune. They have an extremely settled team. When their top 7 finally failed on Saturday the bowlers stepped up and defended 142. Their bowling looked even stronger with the inclusion of Mitchell Johnson.
Mumbai broke the duck for matches being won by the chasing team at the Wankhede Stadium this season on Saturday. The stadium has heavily favored batting second but as we move further into summer the dew factor will matter less.
I have backed Mumbai to win the match at 1.73 on Betfair to carry on their unbeaten home record. They are now top of the Cricsq T20 team ratings and 20 points clear of Pune. My computer model prices them at 1.64 to win the match so at 1.73 they are the value bet.
The Mumbai batting failed for the first time against a strong Delhi attack on Saturday. Patel, Rana and Sharma all failed to reach double figures. Jos Buttler looked in good touch but was run out for 28 off 18 balls. The middle order failed to bail the team out and the runs grounded to a halt ending on 142 off 20 overs.
The top 7 in the batting order are very settled. Only captain Rohit Sharma is yet to score 100 runs so far this season.
Buttler and Patel have been aggressive at the top. Buttler has 213 runs with a strike rate of 157. Nitish Rana is Mumbai's top run scorer. He has 263 runs with a strike rate of 140. Rohit Sharma has only 54 runs at a strike rate of less than a run a ball.
The middle order of Pollard and the Pandya brothers has been exceptional. Pollard has 190 runs with a strike rate of 132. Krunal Pandya has 105 runs and his brother Hardik has 120 runs. Hardik has an amazing strike rate of 190 runs per 100 balls.
The Mumbai bowling unit restricted Delhi to 128 on Saturday when they were chasing a low total of 142.
Mitchell McClenaghan took 3 for 24 off his 4 overs. He now has 12 wickets with an economy rate of 8.7 an over. Michell Johnson was having his first game due to Malinga being sick. Johnson went for just 23 off his 4 overs. He must now replace Malinga permanently as he has been going at almost 11 an over.
Jasprit Bumrah took 2 for 21 on Saturday. He now has 7 wickets for the season going at 8.1 an over. The final seam option Mumbai have been using is Hardik Pandya. He has 4 wickets with an economy rate of 8.2.
Harbhajan Singh and Krunal Pandya are the Mumbai spinners. Krunal has taken 5 wickets at 7 an over. Harbhajan has just 3 wickets but has gone at a very economical 6 an over.
MS Dhoni's return to form to win the match for Pune against Hyderabad will be a great relief for the team. He was struggling to score and was looking disinterested at the crease. On Saturday he scored 61 off 34 to win the match off the last ball in a perfectly timed chase.
Tripathi and Rahane have been opening the batting recently. Tripathi scored 59 off 41 balls on Saturday. He has 133 runs for the season with a strike rate of 155. Rahane did well at the start of the competition but his form has dipped recently. He has 121 runs so far.
Steve Smith is Pune's top runs scorer and bats at 3. He has 207 runs batting at a strike rate of 134. Stokes has been disappointing since scoring a 50 early in the tournament. He has 110 runs for the season so far.
Manoj Tiwary has added depth to the batting coming in after Dhoni at 6. In 4 innings he has scored 115 at a decent strike rate of 167. Having Dan Christian coming it at 7 adds more depth to the Pune batting order. He is currently bowling well, so deserves a place as the second all-rounder.
Pune have settled for playing Tahir as their overseas spinner and Stokes and Christian as all-rounders who bowl seam.
Tahir is Pune's top wicket taker with 9. He has an economy rate of 8 an over. They have struggled to find a regular second spinner. They have tried Zampa, Rahul Chahar and Washington Sundar. Sundar bowled well on debut going for 19 runs in 3 overs.
Pune's best seam bowlers are Stokes and Christian. Stokes has taken 4 wickets with an economy rate of 7.8. Christian has taken just 1 wicket but has been very economical going at just 6.9 an over.
Several Indian seamers have been given a chance by Pune. Ashok Dinda played the first 3 matches but was dropped after going at 11.9 an over. Deepak Chahar went at 11.2 an over in his 2 matches. Jaydev Unadkat has played twice and taken 3 wickets with an economy rate of 8.2. Shardul Thakur has 4 wickets in 3 matches. Rajat Bhatia has 2 wickets in 3 matches going at 7.9 an over.
Thakur and Unadkat both went at over 10 an over against Hyderabad so it might be worth Pune giving Bhatia another go.
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