Arun Gopalakrishnan in Mumbai
Preview: Match 11 - Highveld Lions vs Mumbai Indians
Intimidating MI favourites against Lions
Into the second half of the league stage of the Karbonn Smart CLT20 2013, the Highveld Lions and Mumbai Indians – who compete in Match 11 – will be desperate to get wins under their belt.
Both teams have played two matches so far and have only two points to show for their efforts. The Lions failed to chase down 183 against the Rajasthan Royals in their most recent outing, while their match against the Perth Scorchers was washed out by rains and gave them two points. The Mumbai Indians had to share points with the Otago Volts in their most recent match after losing to the Rajasthan Royals in the opening fixture of the season.
The Royals currently occupy the top spot in the Group A standings with eight points followed by the Volts who have six points. The winner of this contest will have a fair chance of progressing to the knockouts, while it will make things extremely difficult for the loser to go past the league stage.
Friday, September 27, 2013, 8 pm IST
Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur
Speaking to the media on the eve of the match, the Lions’ Sohail Tanvir admitted that the team lacked the experience of playing against such world-class opposition and under the kind of pressure one experiences in the CLT20. There is no doubt there is a lot of talent in the Lions ranks; there were glimpses of the talent and potential in the Lions’ match against Royals. The 20-year-old – yet highly rated – Quinton de Kock played a few good shots during his brief stay in the middle as did Hardus Viljoen during his 21-ball 24-run knock. Skipper Alviro Petersen too did well, top-scoring with a 28-ball 40. The need of the hour is for all players to play more than just cameos to be able to compete with a formidable MI side. On the bowling front, the onus will yet again be on the two left-armers – Lonwabo Tsotsobe and Sohail Tanvir – to strike early, especially given the seamer-friendly conditions one is likely to encounter in the match.
While the focus will continue to be on Sachin Tendulkar – as it has been for the last couple of decades, the Mumbai Indians will need the likes of Rohit Sharma, Dinesh Karthik and Kieron Pollard to play match-winning knocks, allowing the Little Master to hold fort at the other end. Despite the presence of two world-class spinners in Harbhajan Singh and Pragyan Ojha, the onus will be on Mitchell Johnson and his fellow seamers to get the team breakthroughs on a consistent basis – especially given how successful the quicks have been at Jaipur in recent times.
The Highveld Lions will be aware that they have an edge over the Mumbai Indians, having defeated them on two earlier occasions. On both those occasions, the Lions played at their home ground – the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg. In the first meeting in the 2010 edition of the CLT20, the Lions registered a nine-run win after posting 186 runs on the board. In the second meeting in the 2012 edition of the CLT20, the Lions chased down 158 to register a convincing eight-wicket victory.
In six previous outings at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium, the Mumbai Indians have managed to win only twice.
The Highveld Lions’ next fixture is against the Otago Volts – at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium – on September 29, while the Mumbai Indians will enjoy a four-day break before taking on the Perth Scorchers in Delhi on October 2.