IPL: Mumbai and Supergiant clash in Grand Finale
Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) and Mumbai Indians (MI) will contest in the season-ending Grand Finale on Sunday. The two sides will contest in the Maharashtra Derby for the fourth time this season and one of them will be crowned VIVO IPL 2017 Champions.
RPS took the shorter route to the final after defeating their neighbours MI in Qualifier One. Steven Smith’s team has had a fabulous season – in stark contrast to their performance last season; they recovered from a slow start and established momentum as the season has unfurled.
There have been a handful of sensational performances from RPS players along the way, but by and large the team has ridden on useful contributions all-round.
MI ended the league stage as table-toppers. But they lost the first of the playoff matches and hence had to take a slightly longer route to the final. In Qualifier Two on Friday night, they were aggressive, executed their skills to the ‘T’ and defeated the Kolkata Knight Riders quite convincingly.
MI begin favourites in this title clash – for they have good balance and several match-winners in their ranks. Also, several MI players have the experience of playing in an IPL final, and that experience – of knowing how to overcome the big-game jitters – should serve MI in good stead.
MI have already won the IPL title twice – once in 2013 and then in 2015. Can they become the first team to win three IPL titles, or will the underdogs – a young and inexperienced Rising Pune Supergiant– cause an upset and clinch their maiden title?
Both teams have had several players putting their hands and winning matches through the course of the season. That can be established from the fact that 10 different players have won the Man-of-the-Match award for the Mumbai Indians, while seven different players have won the Man-of-the-Match award for RPS.
Who will stand up and play the title-winning innings, and who bowl that spell could be the difference between being champion and runner-up?
Among the batsmen, foremost will be the two captains – Steve Smith and Rohit Sharma. Ajinkya Rahane, who has discovered form at the right time, and MS Dhoni have the temperament required to succeed in such high-stakes matches; expect them to come to the party too. Among the other batsmen in the MI line-up, keep an eye out on Lendl Simmons and the two Pandya brothers.
Among the bowlers, keep an eye on the left-arm pacers. Jaydev Unadkat has picked up at least a wicket in each of the 11 matches he has played this season – RPS will expect him to add to his tally. MI will want whichever of the left-arm quicks takes the field – Mitchell McClenaghan or Mitchell Johnson – to land telling blows on the opposition.
Match within the match
The RPS captain Steven Smith batting against whichever of the two left-arm quicks – Mitchell Johnson or Mitchell McClenaghan – plays, promises to make for an exciting contest. After the punishment McClenaghan and Jasprit Bumrah received in Qualifier One, it will be interesting to see how they come up and counter MS Dhoni.
Head to Head
Overall: Matches played – 5, Mumbai Indians Won – 1, Rising Pune Supergiant Won – 4
In 2017: Matches played – 3, Mumbai Indians Won – 0, Rising Pune Supergiant Won – 3
The average first innings total in VIVO IPL 2017 matches in Hyderabad is 170. Teams setting targets have won five of the seven matches played at the venue this season.
RPS have gone on to win the match on each of the five occasions captain Steve Smith has won the toss. MI have not been able to convert the toss advantage as much; they’ve won six of the 10 matches when Rohit Sharma has won the toss.
Six of the nine IPL finals so far have been won by the team batting first. MI won both their titles when they batted first.
Both RPS and MI have better records when they’ve chased; RPS have a 5-2 win-loss record when they’ve chased this season, while MI have an 8-3 win-loss record in run-chases.
RPS have the best overall economy rate in VIVO IPL 2017 – 7.93. MI have the best death overs scoring rate in VIVO IPL 2017 – 10.72.
RPS won only one of their first four matches, but followed it up with nine wins in their next 11 matches. MI’s season has been just the opposite; they won nine of their first 11 matches, and thereafter only managed two wins in their next five matches.
The winning team will be crowned VIVO IPL 2017 Champions and take home a glistening trophy and the winner’s purse of INR 15 Crore. All players and support staff from the winning side will receive mementoes. The losing team will have to be content with a cheque for INR 10 Crore, presented to the runner-up. (IPLT20)