Mumbai look to seal play-offs spot

WATCH THEM OUT: The Pandya brothers -- Hardik (right) and Krunal -- will be looking to continue their good run and power Mumbai Indians to the play-offs. AFP

Back in their elements at the business end of the tournament, defending champions Mumbai Indians will be hoping to come hard against wooden spooners Delhi Daredevils in their bid to clinch a play-offs berth in a must-win IPL encounter here on Sunday.

The league is still alive and kicking with only Sunrisers Hyderabad (18 from 13 games) and Chennai Super Kings (16 from 13 games) having clinched the play-offs spots.

Statistically, five teams save Daredevils are still in contention for the two remaining play-offs spots.

In the mid-table clutter, Mumbai Indians are among the four teams who are at 12 points and fighting for a spot in the play-off.

The performance in the past few matches is sure to have boosted the confidence of Rohit Sharma and his men.

Mumbai suffered a series of defeats early on in the tournament but they were able to string together victories when it mattered most to keep themselves afloat.

However, Daredevils can be the banana skin and Mumbai Indians will be wary after CSK slipped in their penultimate game. For DD, there is nothing but pride at stake, which makes the young team dangerous oppositions.

The last time the two teams faced off, it was DD who won by seven wickets win in a last-over thriller.

Mumbai's batsmen have been inconsistent so far with skipper Rohit scoring only 273 runs in this edition so far.

It took a strokeful fifty from Kieron Pollard to help Mumbai post a competitive score against King XI Punjab in their last match.

Suryakumar Yadav (500 runs) has been among runs after being promoted as an opener while West Indian opener Evin Lewis (334) has had his moments on and off.

Skipper Rohit's poor form is a big worry for Mumbai. Apart from his match-winning knock against RCB, Rohit has failed to live up to the expectations of the fans and MI need him to contribute big time, so that Pollard and the Pandya brothers --  Hardik and Krunal -- can provide the late charge if needed.

Jasprit Bumrah's (16 wickets) sensational three-wicket haul in the last match will give him a lot of confidence apart from his consistent show in most death over situations.

Hardik (18 wickets and 233 runs) has been solid without being spectacular while Krunal (224 runs and 11 wickets) has again been impressive.

For Delhi, it has been another forgettable season as they looked below par throughout the tournament. Despite having legendary Ricky Ponting on board as the coach or handing the captaincy in the middle of the tournament to young Shreyas Iyer, they have once again brought up the rear.

However, a break of five days seemed to freshen them as they outclassed formidable Chennai by 34 runs to restore some pride.

Vijay Shankar and Harshal Patel helped Daredevils post 162 for five and then leg-spinners Amit Mishra (2/20) and young Sandeep Lamichhane (1/21) managed to restrict CSK to 128 for six and Iyer would expect a similar effort from his team on Sunday.

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Mumbai look to seal play-offs spot

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