IPL Playoffs: Weather to take centrestage in Bengaluru, again

Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders face each other in the quest of making it to the finals. Rain, however, is expected to play spoilsport yet again

Photo courtesy: Twitter\@mipaltan
Photo courtesy: Twitter\@mipaltan

Vikrant Jha

The rain, which assisted Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the last match, can tilt the balance in any game in any direction.

If Friday’s “semi-final” between KKR and Mumbai Indians (MI) is washed out, MI would qualify for the title clash. And then, questions would again be raised over choosing a rain-prone venue for such an important encounter.

The biggest worry of the night for both MI and KKR on Friday won’t be a devastating batsman, or a fantastic bowler, in the opposition ranks, but inclement weather playing spoilsport.

However, more than MI, the prospect of showers would be bothering KKR skipper Gautam Gambhir and his team, as according to the Indian Premier League (IPL) rules, they would make way for MI to play the IPL final should it pour down again in Bengaluru.

In the last match played at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru, KKR were in a similar situation as rain threatened to wash the second innings off. Had the second half of the match been washed out, KKR would have lost to Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in the do-or-die encounter on the virtue of SRH finishing above on the points table.

However, fortune smiled on KKR as rain subsided and the Shah Rukh Khan-owned franchise were given a paltry target of 48 runs in six overs. Gambhir held his nerves, after a minor batting collapse at the top, as he guided his team home with a gritty knock of 32 in just 19 balls.

MI is coming from a defeat against the Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) in the first qualifier and will be keen on making amendments, especially in their batting department which failed to chase a relatively small target of 163 in their own backyard.

While both the teams would be hoping for the rain to keep away on Friday, KKR would like to cash in on the familiarity with the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru. KKR played their eliminator clash against SRH at the same stadium and, before the rain gods decided to halt the proceedings, KKR bowlers had done a brilliant job of restricting SRH to a below par 128.

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