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Can KXIP grab Mumbai playoff spot ?

Bapun Raz

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#1
Just like it takes great effort to maintain the winning momentum, similarly it takes a lot of labour to shrug off a losing streak. Mumbai Indians after getting a ten-wicket thrashing by the Rajasthan Royals on Friday, their third defeat on the trot, are facing a similar situation.




The Sachin Tendulkar-led side, which played some exemplary cricket until their loss to Kings XI Punjab, are now tottering for their survival in the tournament. Their batsmen, who were plundering runs just few days back, are now struggling to put bat to ball. Their bowlers, who were picking up wickets at will, are now being thrashed to all corners of the park. And their fielders, who were taking some exceptional catches under the astute guidance of fielding coach Jonty Rhodes, are now finding it hard to grab even sitters.After winning their home game against the Daredevils, Mumbai were sitting pretty with 16 points and needed just one win to qualify for the playoffs. But now their task of reaching the top four has become a lot trickier. After playing three additional games, they still have the same number of points but their net-run rate has dropped drastically to +0.033. And, now their last league game against the ominous-looking Kolkata Knight Riders (16 points from 13 matches) has turned out to be a must-win encounter.
If they lose Sunday's tie at the Eden Gardens and Punjab, who have played the same number of matches and have got 14 points, win their last match against the Deccan Chargers, then in all likelihood Mumbai will be out of the race for the qualifiers - courtesy the better net run rate (+0.271) Punjab had attained after the blistering century by Adam Gilchrist against the Royal Challengers Bangalore.
On the other hand, even if Knight Riders lose to Mumbai on Sunday, they can still make to the last four as their run rate (+0.476) is superior to both Mumbai and Punjab.
So it’s time for the Mumbai boys to pull up their socks and give the knock-out punch to Punjab if they want to keep their hopes alive to not only reach the qualifiers but also win the most-coveted IPL trophy.