Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders are both heading toward the final push of attempting to make the Indian Premier League playoffs. They will fight it out for two points on Wednesday in Cuttack.
Venue: Barabati Stadium, Cuttack
Date: Wednesday, May 14
Start time: 3:30 p.m. BST/8 p.m. local time
Live on: Sony Six, Star Sports HD, Star Sports 1 (India), ITV4 (United Kingdom), SuperSport (South Africa), OSN (UAE), SkyTV (New Zealand), Network Ten (Australia), Channel 9 (Bangladesh), Sportsnet and Omni (Canada), Sports Max (West Indies), Geo Super (Pakistan) and Starhub (Singapore).
Weather: AccuWeather predicts that it's going to be a very, very hot day in Cuttack. Day temperatures will reach up to 43 degrees Celsius, but this should dip down to around 35 in the early evening making things a touch more bearable for the players.
The Kolkata Knight Riders will be beaming with confidence ahead of their clash against the Mumbai Indians, having beaten the high-flying Kings XI Punjab in their previous outing. Mumbai also picked up a win in their last match, clinching a victory after a clinical chase against Hyderabad.
The two sides have played each other once before in this year's tournament, with KKR emerging victorious in that outing. Most encouraging for KKR is that their batting has clicked with struggling Gautam Gambhir leading the charge. The under-fire captain has hit two consecutive half-centuries to help Kolkata to two wins from two.
Meanwhile for Mumbai, it's their bowling that will need to step up to the challenge. Lasith Malinga was the only bowler to take wickets in their win over Hyderabad. Only Malinga has managed more than six wickets in the entire campaign, so getting the bowling right will be the biggest challenge for the visitors.
Lendl Simmons hit an impressive 68 off 50 in Mumbai's last outing. It was only his second game of the season and the West Indian made the most of his chance. In an interview with IPLT20.com he said he's hoping to play a part in helping Mumbai qualify for the playoffs:
As a team, we would want to win all the games and qualify for the Playoffs. I want to do my part for the team by giving a good start and scoring with a good strike-rate. I want to score a half-century every game and get my team off to a flier at the top of the innings.
The defending champions need to pick up some momentum before it’s too late. KKR will be tough competition so prepare for an exciting game.
Kolkata Knight Riders
Robin Uthappa has been a prolific run-scorer in his last four games, passing 40 in each of them. He's accumulated 302 runs in nine games at an average of 33.55 and KKR will be looking to him to lift the score once again.
Ambati Rayudu has been a star with the bat for Mumbai, scoring 277 runs at an average of 30.77 this season. The men in blue will be looking to him to extend his good run of form and pile on the runs.
Kolkata Knight Riders
Gautam Gambhir (c), Sunil Narine, Jacques Kallis, Robin Uthappa, Yusuf Pathan, Shakib Al Hasan, Umesh Yadav, Vinay Kumar, Morne Morkel, Piyush Chawla, Manish Pandey, Veer Pratap Singh, Chris Lynn, Andre Russell, SS Mandal, Pat Cummins, Debabrata Das, Suryakumar Yadav, Manvinder Bisla, Ryan ten Doeschate, Kuldeep Yadav.
Rohit Sharma (C), Lasith Malinga, Kieron Pollard, Harbhajan Singh, Ambati Rayudu, Michael Hussey, Pragyan Ojha, Corey Anderson, Praveen Kumar, Josh Hazlewood, CM Gautam, Aditya Tare, Apoorv Wankhade, Marchant de Lange, Krishmar Santokie, Ben Dunk, Pavan Suyal, Sushant Marathe, Jasprit Bumrah, Shreyas Gopal and Lendl Simmons.