Rising Pune Supergiants v Mumbai Indians
Sunday 22nd May, Hyderabad
Mumbai Indians defeated Kolkata Knight Riders in the second qualifier as they stormed into the finals of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2017. The Rohit Sharma-led side will now be locking horns with Steve Smith's Rising Pune Supergiant, who booked the spot into the final by defeating Mumbai in the Qualifier 1 on May 16
Pune have beaten Mumbai three times in this competition
After ferrying drinks in the first half of Mumbai Indians' campaign, and later being a fill-in for the injured Krunal Pandya, legspinner Karn Sharma took the more experienced Harbhajan Singh's spot on Friday night and put his side in the IPL final.
He did so in style, knocking the stuffing out of the Kolkata Knight Riders top and middle order in the second Qualifier with career-best IPL returns of 4 for 16.Karn's spell was founded on meticulous planning and excellent execution. He bowled 12 of his 24 balls on the stumps for three wickets, including that of Sunil Narine and KKR captain Gautam Gambhir.
The replacement man has now become the main man and has given Mumbai a shot at moving past KKR and Chennai Super Kings for a record third IPL title.
Odds for the game are interesting given the result in Qualifier 1 under a week ago when Pne defended 162 against Mumbai to go straight to the final. Rising Pune Supergiants are widely available in most green listed bookmakers such as Ladbrokes at 6/5 with the Mumbai Indians 8/11 found in Stan James. I think I have it a closer game than that.
Pune are without the world class all-rounder Ben Stokes but their batting line up is fierce with Smith, Tripathi and Tiwary all in great form and the experienced Rahane and Dhoni in support. The bowling line up probably has less depth than Mumbai relying on Unadkat who has taken 22 wickets so far in the tournament. In the qualifier though teenage spinner Sundar took three wickets and was very difficult to play
Mumbai’s main strength is their bowling line up. In qualifier two, McClenaghan (19 wickets in this IPL) was able to be replaced by Mitchell Johnson and the combination of him and Bumrah represents a great combination at both ends of the innings.
The batting line up features Parthiv Patel and the experienced captain Rohit Sharma at the top of the order with big hitters like Kieron Pollard lower down.
At 6/5 on value grounds I think we have to back Pune. Winning the toss and bowling would help