Match 35 IPL 2017 (2017-04-29) @ Rajkot (SCAS)
Mumbai won the first match between these two sides in Mumbai on the 16th April. The Lions scored 176 from their 20 overs and Mumbai chased it down with 3 balls to spare. Since that match the Lions have made improvements to their team by adding Faulkner as an extra bowler.
Last season the Lions won both matches against Mumbai. In their home match the Lions comfortably chased down the 172 set by Mumbai with 13 balls to spare.
Mumbai started this season losing to Pune. They then won 6 matches in a row thanks to contributions from all their batsmen and some decent bowling. They lost to Pune again in their last match on Monday. Their batting has been poor in their last 2 matches.
The Lions appear to be finally getting the balance of their side right. They started the season playing 4 overseas batsmen. Roy, Smith, Finch and McCullum all like to open the batting. Playing them all was a waste as they could not all get a chance to face a decent amount of balls. They now have both Tye and Faulkner playing and their bowling is much stronger for it.
The Lions are a much better side chasing. The franchise started in 2016 and now has played a total of 24 matches. They have won 73% of matches batting second and only 11% batting first. Mumbai also prefer to bat second. Since 2014 they have won 68% of matches batting second and 46% batting first. The Rajkot is also biased to team batting second.
The Lions are available at 2.14 on Betfair and Mumbai are 1.87. Given the advantage of batting second the temptation is to wait for the toss and back the team batting second. However, I have backed the Lions to win at 2.14. They are an improving team who have some in form batsmen and have finally got their bowling attack optimized, given their squad. Mumbai are a very strong side but I think they have already reached their peak and have lost momentum their last 2 matches.
The Lions batting line-up has chased down 171, 187 and 134 so far this IPL. They have not won a match setting a total.
Brendon McCullum has opened every match. He has scored 267 runs with a strike rate of 146. He has had 4 different opening partners this season. Against RCB on Thursday Aaron Finch was moved back to the middle order and Ishan Kishan opened the batting. He helped get the innings off to a flyer scoring 16 from 11 balls.
Suresh Raina bats at 3. He has a strike rate of 142 and has scored 309 runs. Dinesh Karthik has 190 runs with a strike rate of 137. He usually bats in the middle order and keeps wicket.
Aaron Finch scored 72 from 34 balls back in the middle order against RCB. He has opened for a couple of matches. Finch now has a total of 186 with a strike rate of 172. He is now back in form after a poor start to the IPL.
Dwayne Smith and Jason Roy are now out of the side to allow James Faulkner and Andrew Tye to strengthen the bowling. Smith scored 94 runs in 7 innings and Roy 59 in 3 matches. Faulkner scored 4 in the one innings he played. He is capable of batting at 6 or 7. Jadeja is also capable of batting in the lower-middle order. He has 53 runs form 4 innings.
The Lions' selectors were rewarded for playing both Tye and Faulkner as their overseas players in their last match. Tye took 3 for 12 in his 4 overs. He now has 12 wickets in 5 matches with an economy rate of 6.6 an over. Faulkner took 1 for 15 in three overs.
Basil Thampi was also part of the pace attack against RCB. He took 1 for 34 in his 4 overs. He now has 3 wickets in 7 matches. He has been expensive going at 9 an over. With Dhawal Kulkarni and Praveen Kumar going at over 10 an over this season the Lions are struggling to find another seamer. Nathu Singh has played 2 matches. He has an excellent economy rate of 3.7 an over but Raina seems reluctant to give him more than 2 overs a match.
The Lions' spinners are the least economical in the IPL. Ravindra Jadeja took 1 for 28 off his 4 overs against RCB. This was his best performance of the IPL. He now has 4 wickets in 6 matches but has an economy rate of 9.2. Ankit Soni was given his first match on Thursday. He went at 9.3 an over. Shivil Kaushik has also been tried but he has gone for 9.6 an over.
All of the Mumbai top 7 have contributed in the course of the season. There are signs that the batting form is slightly dipping in their last 2 matches. Against Delhi they only scored 142 in their 20 overs. Then they failed to chase down 160 set by Pune on Monday.
Jos Buttler and Parthiv Patel open the batting. Buttler has 230 runs with a strike rate of 154. Patel has 169 runs at a slightly more sedate 129.
Nitish Rana has been batting at 3. He started the season with scoring 3 fifties in 6 matches. His form has dipped in the last 2 matches scoring 8 and 3. It is no coincidence that these are the 2 innings the whole team has performed badly. He is Mumbai's top run scorer with 266 runs.
Rohit Sharma played his best innings of the IPL against Pune on Monday. He scored 58 off 39 balls . He now has 112 runs for the season.
The middle order usually consists of Pollard and the Pandya brothers. Krunal Pandya was missed in the defeat against Pune. He has 105 runs from 5 innings with a strike rate of 136. Hardik Pandya has 133 runs with an excellent strike rate of 180.
Pollard has 199 runs with a strike rate of 130. He takes a few balls to get in but has played some vital innings this season including 70 against RCB and 39 off 23 balls against in the victory in the first match against the Lions.
Mitchell McClenaghan is Mumbai's top wicket taker with 12. He has an economy rate of 8.7. Mitchell Johnson has opened the bowling with him the last 2 matches. He has replaced Lasith Malinga and has a much better economy rate. Johnson has gone at 7 an over compared to Malinga's 11.
Jasprit Bumrah and Hardik Pandya are the Indian seam bowlers in the team. Bumrah bowls very well in the death overs. He has 9 wickets at an economy rate of 8 an over. Hardik has 4 wickets with an economy rate of 8.2.
Harbhajan Singh and Krunal Pandya usually make up the spin attack. Harbhajan has been very economical only going at 5.9 an over. He has 4 wickets. Krunal has 5 wickets and has gone at 7 an over. Krunal was missed both with bat and ball on Monday. He was replaced by Karn Sharma who went for 39 runs in 4 overs but did manage to pick up 4 wickets. If fit Krunal will be back in the side.
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