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Top two teams face off against each other in tonight’s match; KKR end MI hope

By wasmulhaq 
Updated Date

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) destroyed Mumbai Indians (MI) to keep their chance alive for the time being to progress in the playoffs. Of course, KKR have to depend on the mathematical calculations. The road for five-time champions Mumbai Indians ended with the 52-run debacle against KKR in yesterday’s match.

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The only shining point for MI in that match was the performance of speedster Jasprit Bumrah. His splendid bowling got him 5 for 10 in his four overs. It is a rare occasion when a losing team player is declared player of the match.

Top two teams gear up for tonight’s match

The IPL caravan has now shifted to MCA stadium, Pune, where two top teams on the points table will be battling out to be the first team to go through to the playoffs stage. Lucknow Super Giants and Gujarat Titans have been occupying the number one and two places, respectively. Both sides have 16 points from their 11 matches, but LSG is ahead due to a better net run rate (NRR).

LSG skipper KL Rahul said, “I still can’t think of any game where we’ve had a complete performance”. LSG decimated KKR by 75 runs in their last encounter, which fetched on the top.

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Both franchises will play for the second time this season, and tonight’s winner will automatically qualify for the playoffs of this edition of the IPL. LSG have an edge. The momentum is with the Lucknow side, having won four successive matches, while the Titans have lost the thrust after five wins in a row, losing two consecutive encounters, and are set to come back strongly in today’s important fixture.

The batting order of LSG has been performing splendidly. Skipper Rahul and Quinton de Kock have scored runs consistently. Deepak Hooda, who has been looking in good nick, has managed scores of 41, 52, and 34 in their last three games. It seems that Hooda has solved the no-3 batting position for LSG.

Gujarat Titans stepped down on the ground for the first time in IPL history. The debutants started their IPL campaign with a bang, beating LSG in their maiden encounter.

Titans would like to forget their last two outings. The loss against the bottom of the table, Mumbai Indians, has dented the morale of the side. The Titans were cruising nicely against MI but faltered in the end. GT must reestablish their batters’ form on track. The form of Mohammad Shami is a concern as he has leaked easy runs in recent matches. The team management will be thinking of sorting out all the issues before the start of tonight’s encounter.

Both sides are on the same track. They haven’t lost at this venue, having emerged victorious twice. Teams batting first have bagged the match 8 times in their kitty out of the 11 matches to be held on this ground so far.

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Important facts

LSG have the best win-loss ratio among teams batting first, emerging victorious six out of seven times.

Gujarat Titans like to chase the target. They have the best record in chasing, having won five out of six times while chasing down the target.

Marcus Stoinis of LSG has the distinction of batting in five different positions in his eight innings so far in IPL 2022.

The crowds are desperate to watch the top two teams in action tonight. One team will definitely move on to the playoffs. A fierce encounter is on the cards. Be ready to watch some superb cricket tonight.

Wasim Haque

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