Mumbai: After dishing out a last-ball thriller in the last league match, Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders would square off against each other yet again here on Wednesday but the stakes are high now as it will be end of the road for the loser in the Indian Premier League.
Thanks to the changed format, Wednesday’s eliminator tie has become a sort of a quarter-final since the winner will then clash with loser of the qualifier-1 to earn a shot at the title match.
Kolkata were well-poised to hand Mumbai their fourth straight defeat in their last league match but allowed them to escape and record a thrilling last-ball victory.
The Kolkata players, particularly Laxmipathy Balaji, who was hit for 23 runs in the last over which included a last-ball six by Mumbai`s Ambati Rayudu, can forget that stunning change of fortunes in a jiffy.
Wednesday’s game is a do-or-die match which would get nerves jangling and the team that shows iron grip on its emotions is likely to win the Eliminator.
The Knight Riders batting has done quite well with Jacques Kallis (417 runs from 14 games), Manoj Tiwary (355from 14) and skipper Gambhir (374 from 14) being its mainstays.
Yusuf Pathan has not exactly scored big with 47 not out being his highest score in a tally of 257 from 14 games, but Mumbai would be aware of the damage the big-hitting Baroda man can cause once he gets going.