The Match: The 70th and the final game of the league stage of the Indian Premier League will be played between the Mumbai Indians and the Kolkata Knight Riders. The two teams are on 16 points apiece and while the winner will be assured of a playoffs berth and probably, even a position in the top two, the team losing this one could go out of the competition – subject to the result of the game between Punjab and Deccan.>
This game will be played at the Eden Gardens, where there are chances of a shower affecting play as well.
How the two teams match up: The Mumbai Indians go into the game with three successive losses which means that they are struggling with their momentum. The issue with that is that if Punjab win their last game against the Chargers and they lose to the Knight Riders, the Mumbai Indians will be out of the tournament.
For the Kolkata Knight Riders, they can afford to lose to the Mumbai Indians by a small margin if Punjab win their last game. However, it all depends on the way things go in that Punjab-Deccan match and the margin of the result.
Ground Conditions: The Eden Gardens pitch has been slow and will not be liked too much by the Mumbai Indians. On the other hand, the Kolkata Knight Riders will look to roll out a three-pronged spin attack and restrict the Mumbai Indians.
The Teams: The Mumbai Indians need to bat much better at the top of the order and the decision to drop Aiden Blizzard was a surprising one. Agreed that he had had his chances but the problem is that you need to back your openers for long enough side to ensure that they can give you the results.
For the Kolkata Knight Riders, it is a matter of getting their batting order, something that looked like doing in the last game. Gautam Gambhir finally opened the innings, but it was a surprise to Jacques Kallis being pushed down the order. The side will want both to remain at the top with the likes of Manoj Tiwary, Shakib al Hasan and Yusuf Pathan in the middle order.
Players to look out for: It will be interesting to see whether Pathan can take on the Mumbai Indians bowling, which is usually a decent attack. On the other hand, the Mumbai Indians will need Sachin Tendulkar and Ambati Rayadu to bat through the innings.
Prediction: Difficult to call, but Kolkata could be favourites.