IPL 2019: Round 2 of Andre Russell v Hardik Pandya as KKR target playoffs against Mumbai Indians

Ajit Vijaykumar 23:28 04/05/2019
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Andre Russell has been sensational for KKR. Image - @IPL/Twitter.

The last time these two sides, it turned out to be a six-fest of monumental proportions. As Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders gear up for the final league game of IPL 2019 on Sunday, the protagonists from that match will square off once again with a lot on line for both teams.

In their previous match-up, KKR star all-rounder Andre Russell blasted 80 off just 40 balls and took two wickets and two catches in a high-scoring win. Russell was almost upstaged by Mumbai gamechanger Hardik Pandya who blasted an astonishing 91 off 34 balls to bring his team to within 34 runs of the 233-run target.

The two hit a combined 17 sixes in that match. With the game on Sunday to be held in Mumbai, chances are sixes will rain once again.

Hardik Pandya.

Hardik Pandya.

Playoff scenario

Mumbai have already qualified for the playoffs while KKR have a simple equation in front of them – win and qualify for the playoffs.

Sunrisers Hyderabad could have all but secured qualification had they beaten the hapless RCB on Saturday but they slipped and are now stuck on 12 points with Kolkata. All the Knight Riders need to do now is to win by any margin and make it to the playoffs.

Mumbai will be keen to register a win and climb up to second position. They will be tied with Delhi Capitals on 18 points but will be ahead on net run rate, thus making it to the first Qualifier and not the Eliminator.

Kolkata will also be banking on young batting prodigy Shubman Gill to continue his new-found form at the top of the order as they aim to get a headstart in the powerplay overs.

The youngster has hit successive fifties after being promoted as opener and the Knight Riders will be hoping for an encore to secure qualification.

Likely XIs

Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma (c), Quinton de Kock (wk), Suryakumar Yadav, Evin Lewis, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Barinder Sran, Rahul Chahar, lasith Malinga, Jasprit Bumrah

KKR: Shubman Gill, Chris Lynn, Robin Uthappa, Sunil Narine, Nitish Rana, Andre Russell, Dinesh Karthik (c and wk), Rinku Singh, Piyush Chawla, Harry Gurney, Sandeep Warrier

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