Kolkata play postponed Qualifier against Punjab before Chennai play Eliminator in Mumbai fortress

Well-placed till the final stretch to be playing the first Qualifier, Chennai Super Kings instead will take on Mumbai Indians, having won only once in six times the teams have played in Mumbai.
MS Dhoni will have the tough task of motivating the Chennai Super Kings to keep fighting. Pawan Singh / The National
MS Dhoni will have the tough task of motivating the Chennai Super Kings to keep fighting. Pawan Singh / The National

The Indian Premier League is set for a play-off double header today after torrential rain forced the postponement of yesterday’s qualifier between Kolkata Knight Riders and Kings XI Punjab at Eden Gardens in Kolkata.

The game, which puts the winner in to Sunday’s final but gives the loser a second chance to advance, will be played today, before the Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings face off in Mumbai in an elimination match.

The weather forecast in Kolkata today is for thunderstorms with an 80 per cent chance of rain so the game may not go ahead.

If conditions do not allow for a full game, the number of overs will be reduced as much as to it becoming a five-over-per-side game. If even that is not possible the winner will be decided via a Super Over, where each team faces six balls.

If that is also ruled out then the side that finished the league stage with more wins – Punjab – will go through to the final, with Kolkata to take on the winner of the elimination match in Mumbai on Friday.

Chennai and Mumbai will go into the elimination game of the Indian Premier League with contrasting feelings.

Chennai will have watched the qualifier with the nagging belief that they should have been playing that game. Having done enough in the first half of the tournament to set the pace, Chennai are kicking themselves for having lost just enough games – five of 14 – to slip out of the top two. All their hopes now rest on one match.

For Mumbai, a shot at making the final is a bonus. They made a late charge for the play-offs and only qualified in the incredible last-ball win over Rajasthan Royals on Sunday.

But they have struggled for the right combination throughout the tournament.

They played three wicketkeepers early on, lacked bowling depth and their batting failed to find the required penetration as the batting charts for the tournament reveal.

Rohit Sharma is the highest ranked Mumbai player in 12th place, with 370 runs from 14 innings. That is a long way from the leader, Kolkata’s Robin Uthappa, who has 613 runs to his name.

Mumbai have a tremendous record against the Chennai Super Kings when they have played them in Mumbai.

In the six times the two teams have met in the city, Chennai have won only once, and that was at the DY Patil Stadium.

Since then, though, the Mumbai team has had several changes, not least that their batting enforcer, Dwayne Smith, now wears Chennai’s yellow shirt.

Anand Vasu is managing editor at Wisden India. For more on IPL visit Wisden India or follow them on Twitter @wisdenindia

You can follow us on Twitter at @SprtNationalUAE

Published: May 27, 2014 04:00 AM

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