Mumbai Indians face-off with resurgent Royal Challengers SundayMay 2nd, 2009 - 3:41 pm ICT by IANS
Johannesburg, May 2 (IANS) Mumbai Indians will look to thwart a resurgent Royal Challengers, who are attempting a late comeback in the Indian Premier League with two wins in a row, at New Wanderers here Sunday.
Royal Challengers have slowly moved up to fifth place in the standings after beating Knight Riders and Kings XI Punjab. They have six points from seven matches.
One of the bottom-placed teams of last year, Challengers started with a big win over defending champions Rajasthan Royals in the first match, but then slumped to four losses before renewing their challenge in Kevin Pietersen’s last IPL match for the season.
A new captain in Anil Kumble has brought the Challengers’ luck and they played like a well-knit unit to pull-off a close match against Kings XI Punjab Friday.
Kumble used his resources well while successfully defending a total of 145 runs. Kings XI got off to a exploding start through Yuvraj Singh, who opened the innings, but Kumble got rid of the danger man as Challengers crawled back in the game. Kumble then bowled a brilliant 19th over when 17 were required off 12 balls. Praveen Kumar held his nerve to bowl Challengers to victory in the last over.
But Challengers have still to sort out their batting problems which again failed to fire.
Jesse Ryder and Robin Uthappa’s lack of form is hurting the team and Jacques Kallis,too, is not in great touch. The lower order is coming under tremendous pressure with wickets falling regularly at the top.
Mumbai Indians’ top-order batting has looked rusty in the last two matches and J.P. Duminy came to their rescue on both occasions. It was the performance of Duminy and Zaheer Khan that saw the Mumbai team through against Knight Riders, though the Kolkata team came close to beating them.
With Sachin Tendulkar and Sanath Jayasuriya in good touch in the tournament, Mumbai certainly would hope its top-order batting gives them a good start against Challengers.
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Tags: Anil Kumble, big win, challengers, close match, danger man, face off, jacques kallis, jayasuriya, kevin pietersen, knight riders, premier league, robin uthappa, royals, ryder, six points, tendulkar, wanderers, wickets, yuvraj singh, zaheer khan