IPL 2017 will witness the blockbuster clash between Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders in the second qualifier tonight at M Chinnaswamy stadium in Bengaluru and fans are guaranteed a mouth-watering clash as the two of the most successful sides with two IPL titles each will fight to make their way to the final.
KKR beat Sunrisers Hyderabad by seven wickets in the eliminator to book their place in Qualifier 2 and Mumbai are coming into the game on the back of a loss to Rising Pune Supergiant in Qualifier 1.
While KKR have the momentum after winning the eliminator which was also played in Bengaluru, Mumbai can take heart from their outstanding 15-5 head-to-head record against the team from Kolkata. The Rohit Sharma-led side also beat KKR in both the league games this season.
League table standings
Mumbai topped the league table with 20 points and 10 wins. Kolkata secured qualification to playoffs after finishing fourth in the table with eight wins and 16 points.
The qualifier match doesn't have a reserve day and in case the tie is washed out due to rain, Mumbai will qualify for the final as they finished higher than Kolkata in the league table.
Three KKR batsmen - Gambhir (486), Robin Uthappa (396) and Manish Pandey (387) - have scored more runs than Mumbai Indians' highest run-getter Parthiv Patel (377) this season.
While Gambhir has lead his team from the front by scoring valuable runs, Mumbai skipper Rohit has struggled to get going this season. He has only managed 283 runs in 14 innings at an average of 23.58.
Talking about strike rates, KKR clearly seem to boast the big-hitters among the two teams. Chris Lynn, Sunil Narine and Uthappa have all scored with a strike rate higher than 160. Among Mumbai batsmen, the usual suspects Hardik Pandya and Jos Buttler have aggregated their runs with a strike rate over 150.
Mumbai's bowling unit is one of the best in death overs in IPL with specialists like Mitchell McClenghan, Jasprit Bumrah and Lasith Malinga. The Kiwi leads Mumbai's wicket charts with 19 scalps followed by Bumrah who has clinched 15 wickets this season.
Chris Woakes heads the table for KKR with 17 wickets followed by Umesh Yadav (16) and Nathan Coulter-Nile (14). The Aussie pacer was awarded Man of the Match for his match-winning spell of 20/3 against Sunrisers. Gambhir will be banking on his pace attack which is well aware of the conditions at the Chinnaswamy having played their last game in Bengaluru.
Mumbai could bring back Harbhajan Singh for this game to put the brakes on KKR's power-hitting. The veteran spinner, who was on bench in the first qualifier, has been the westerners' most disciplined bowlers this season with an economy rate of 6.48. West Indian mystery bowler Sunil Narine (7.10) has been the most the most economical for KKR in IPL 2017.