MI v KKR LIVE: Kolkata Knight Riders' openers fall early in chase of 182

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Kolkata are bowling first

It’s another game in the IPL and it’s a big one as defending champions Mumbai Indians take on Kolkata Knight Riders. 

KKR captain Dinesh Karthik won the toss and elected to bat at the Wankhede Stadium. They welcome back Nitish Rana who missed their last game.

For Mumbai Indians, defeat is not an option. Another loss will surely signal the end of their play-off hopes.

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IPL 2018: Nitish Rana set to return for Kolkata Knight Riders' IPL clash against Mumbai Indians

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Big game: Kolkata Knight Riders. Image: IPL/Twitter

Another game for Mumbai Indians and another win is essential if the defending champions want to keep their slim play-off hopes alive.

Kolkata Knight Riders come into the match at the Wankhede Stadium (14:30 start) on the back of two consecutive wins.

Knight Riders will be boosted by the return of Nitish Rana. The left-hander batsman has become a key player in the middle-order and was forced to miss the Chennai game after suffering a back injury against Royal Challengers Bangalore last weekend.

He looks set to return to No.4 with Shubman Gill expected to move down the order.

Mitchell Johnson could pay the price for his performance against Chennai Super Kings with Tom Curran likely to step in. Johnson went 0-51 against Chennai in their last match and has gone three games without picking up a wicket.

For Mumbai Indians, Kieron Pollard is expected to be benched again with Ben Cutting likely to take his place.

LIKELY LINE-UPS

Mumbai Indians: Evin Lewis, Suryakumar Yadav, JP Duminy, Ishan Kishan (wk), Rohit Sharma (c), Hardik Pandya, Ben Cutting, Kieron Pollard, Mitchell McClenaghan, Mayank Markande, Jasprit Bumrah

Kolkata Knight Riders: Chris Lynn, Sunil Narine, Robin Uthappa, Shubman Gill, Dinesh Karthik (c, wk), Andre Russell, Rinku Singh, Shivam Mavi, Piyush Chawla, Tom Curran, Kuldeep Yadav

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IPL 2018: Harbhajan Singh and other underrated performers of the season

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Harbhajan has been reliable for CSK. Image: BCCI.

The 11th edition of the IPL has had more than its fair share of drama with close matches, 200-plus totals and incredible performances coming in one after the other.

Big names like MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli, Chris Gayle and Rashid Khan have done what they are expected to do – keep the fans on the edge of their seats with their performances.

However, there are some other players who have proven to be of great value to their teams even though they haven’t always hogged the limelight.

Here we take a look at five such underrated performers of IPL 2018.

HARBHAJAN SINGH

The Chennai Super Kings off-spinner has shown that there is space for regular finger spinners to flourish in the T20 format. While wrist spinners dominate the wicket takers’ list, Harbhajan sneaks in with six wickets from eight matches. More importantly, his 24.5 overs have gone at 7.16 runs an over, which is excellent given this edition of the IPL has already seen 10 scores in excess of 200.

SUNIL NARINE

After his action was reported once again earlier in the year, Kolkata Knight Riders spinner Narine must have been under immense pressure coming into the IPL. Forced to stick to his most basic deliveries, Narine has relied on tight lines and change in pace to take 10 wickets from nine matches at a healthy economy of 7.45. And let’s not forget his 193 runs at the top of the order at a strike rate of 170.

KRUNAL PANDYA

Hardik Pandya is already an established performer not only in the IPL but the international stage as well. However, his brother and Mumbai Indians team-mate Krunal hasn’t done too badly either. In this edition of the IPL, Krunal has picked up eight wickets from nine matches at an economy of 7.16 while scoring 167 runs from seven outings at a strike rate of 150. Worth every penny.

SURYAKUMAR YADAV

Suryakumar has made up for the failures of Rohit and Lewis. Image: BCCI.

Suryakumar has made up for the failures of Rohit and Lewis. Image: BCCI.

The Mumbai Indians player is one of the more talented batsmen in the domestic circuit but has failed to capture the imagination of fans. Maybe that will change this season after scoring 340 runs from nine innings. With the likes of Rohit Sharma and Evin Lewis struggling, Yadav’s consistency has been the saving grace in what has been a terrible campaign for the defending champions so far.

SANDEEP SHARMA

One of the slowest frontline seam bowlers in the competition but one of the smartest, Sandeep has been brilliant for Sunrisers Hyderabad. Banking exclusively on swing, Sandeep has picked up six wickets from five matches at an economy of 5.3 – a return ODI bowlers would be proud of. The 24-year-old is proof you don’t have to be express quick to be effective in T20s.

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