Arun Gopalakrishnan in Mumbai
Preview: Match 18 – Sydney Sixers vs Mumbai Indians
Can the Sixers cope without Watson?
Match 18 of the Karbonn CLT20 2012 will see the Sydney Sixers – the most impressive side in the competition – challenge the defending champions Mumbai Indians.
The teams have had contrasting fortunes. While the Sixers have been convincing in each of their three victories, the Mumbai Indians are yet to win a contest. The IPL franchise has two points from the washed out encounter against Yorkshire, and they will be keen to finish off their campaign on a happy note.
The Sixers will be keen to carry on their convincing form, especially now that they are at the business end of the competition.
Monday, October 22, 2012, 5:30 p.m. (9:00 p.m. IST)
They Sydney Sixers will go into this match without the services of their match-winner Shane Watson. The Australian all-rounder was summoned back home by Cricket Australia so he could prepare for the upcoming Test series against South Africa. Brad Haddin and Michael Lumb have been in good form and they will be expected to fill in Watson’s shoes. Steven Smith and Moises Henriques have made useful contributions at crucial times, and they too will be expected to shoulder more responsibility.
The Sydney Sixers’ pacers have terrorized almost all their opponents, and the team will be banking on them to do the job again. Mitchell Starc, in particular, has been terrific; the left-armer has picked up three wickets in each of his last four outings, and he will want to keep that form going.
Sachin Tendulkar will possibly be playing his last innings in South Africa; therefore expect him to come up with a special performance. Also, expect a promotion for Dinesh Karthik, who batted beautifully and took his team to the brink of an improbable win in the previous match against the Chennai Super Kings.
On the bowling front, Lasith Malinga will have to be singled out as the most dangerous performer in the Mumbai Indians ranks. The Sri Lankan, who has been out of sorts in recent times, will want to build on his five-wicket haul in the previous match.
Both teams will be meeting in a Twenty20 match for the first time.
Lasith Malinga holds the record for the most five-wicket hauls in Twenty20 cricket – 3.
This is the final Group fixture for both teams in the Karbonn CLT20 2012. The Sydney Sixers will wait to find out who their semi-final opponent is, while the Mumbai Indians will head home after a disappointing tournament.