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Saturday, 31 May 2014
Live Streaming, IPL 2014, Qualifier 2, Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) vs Chennai Super Kings (CSK): Match 59 at Mumbai

Live Streaming, IPL 2014, Qualifier 2, Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) vs Chennai Super Kings (CSK): Match 59 at Mumbai

 (Kings XI Punjab take on Chennai Super Kings in Match 59 at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai for the 2nd Qualifier of IPL 2014. Catch all the Live Score Updates and Live Cricket Action here.)

Kings XI Punjab take on Chennai Super Kings in match 59 of IPL 2014. The penultimate match of the tournament will decide who faces Kolkata Knight Riders who defeated Kings XI Punjab in the 1st Qualifier and went straight to the final. Kings XI Punjab gets another shot at making it to the final because they finished the league stage of IPL 2014 at the top of the points table and Chennai Super Kings defeated Mumbai Indians in the Eliminator to get one last chance at making it to the final.

The contest may be called the 2nd Qualifier but it should have been the 2nd Eliminator as it is a must-win game for both teams and the winner goes on to take the field against Kolkata Knight Riders on 1st June 2014 at Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore for one last contest for the coveted IPL 2014 trophy.

Kings XI Punjab will be depending on Glenn Maxwell and David Miller to do the big hitting like they have for most of the tournament especially in the UAE leg which led KXIP to victory against CSK in the league matches.

Chennai Super Kings will not only be aiming to win the game to go on to the final but also to avenge the two league match losses to KXIP. Chennai needs to come up with an answer to Maxwell’s golden hammer that keeps knocking the ball into the crowd. Ravichandram Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja have been getting stomped on when faced with Glenn Maxwell.

Kings XI Punjab will be hoping for a more destructive performance from their batsmen as compared to the lukewarm shots that they played against Kolkata Knight Riders in the 1st Qualifer. Having lost that game, KXIP is under pressure to win this game or become the team that should have won the cup but choked in the final stages of the tournament.

Chennai Super Kings has displayed a fine batting performance this tournament with Dwayne Smith, Faf du Plessis, Suresh Raina and MS Dhoni proving to be a test that most bowlers have been failing against. They will be confident coming into this game after they outclassed Mumbai Indians .Rogers would respectively broadcast the tournament. IPL Fans can watch the Live Streaming of Mumbai Indians vs Royal Challengers Bangalore IPL 2014 Match No. 27 on these sites.

Teams (from):

Kings XI Punjab: Virender Sehwag, Manan Vohra, Wridhiman Saha, Glenn Maxell, David Miller, George Bailey, Akshar Patel, Rishi Dhawan, Mitchell Johnson, Karanveer Singh, L Balaji, Sandeep Sharma, Parvinder Awana, B Hendricks, Shaun Marsh, Cheteshwar Pujara, Mandeep Singh, Shardul Thakur, Shivam Sharma, Anureet Singh, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, M Karthik.

Chennai Super Kings: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (C), Suresh Raina, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Faf du Plessis, Brendon McCullum, Dwayne Smith, Ashish Nehra, Mohit Sharma, Samuel Badree, Ben Hilfenhaus, Matt Henry, B Aparajith, Mithun Manhas, Ishwar Pandey, Pawan Negi, Vijay Shankar, Ronit More, John Hastings.
Live Score Update, IPL 2014, Qualifier 2, KXIP vs CSK: Kings XI Punjab win by 24 runs

Live Score Update, IPL 2014, Qualifier 2, KXIP vs CSK: Kings XI Punjab win by 24 runs

(Kings XI Punjab take on Chennai Super Kings in Match 59 at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai for the 2nd Qualifier of IPL 2014. Catch all the Live Score Updates and Live Cricket Action here.)

Kings XI Punjab take on Chennai Super Kings in match 59 of IPL 2014. The penultimate match of the tournament will decide who faces Kolkata Knight Riders who defeated Kings XI Punjab in the 1st Qualifier and went straight to the final. Kings XI Punjab gets another shot at making it to the final because they finished the league stage of IPL 2014 at the top of the points table and Chennai Super Kings defeated Mumbai Indians in the Eliminator to get one last chance at making it to the final.

The contest may be called the 2nd Qualifier but it should have been the 2nd Eliminator as it is a must-win game for both teams and the winner goes on to take the field against Kolkata Knight Riders on 1st June 2014 at Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore for one last contest for the coveted IPL 2014 trophy.

Kings XI Punjab will be depending on Glenn Maxwell and David Miller to do the big hitting like they have for most of the tournament especially in the UAE leg which led KXIP to victory against CSK in the league matches.

Chennai Super Kings will not only be aiming to win the game to go on to the final but also to avenge the two league match losses to KXIP. Chennai needs to come up with an answer to Maxwell’s golden hammer that keeps knocking the ball into the crowd. Ravichandram Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja have been getting stomped on when faced with Glenn Maxwell.

Kings XI Punjab will be hoping for a more destructive performance from their batsmen as compared to the lukewarm shots that they played against Kolkata Knight Riders in the 1st Qualifer. Having lost that game, KXIP is under pressure to win this game or become the team that should have won the cup but choked in the final stages of the tournament.

Chennai Super Kings has displayed a fine batting performance this tournament with Dwayne Smith, Faf du Plessis, Suresh Raina and MS Dhoni proving to be a test that most bowlers have been failing against. They will be confident coming into this game after they outclassed Mumbai Indians
IPL 2014, Qualifier 2, KXIP vs CSK: Kings XI Punjab win by 24 runs, will face Kolkata Knight Riders in the final

IPL 2014, Qualifier 2, KXIP vs CSK: Kings XI Punjab win by 24 runs, will face Kolkata Knight Riders in the final

Chasing a daunting target of 227 runs Chennai Super Kings fell 24 runs short of the target despite Suresh Raina’s heroics at the top.

In hunt of 226 CSK needed to come out all guns blazing. FAF du Plessis (0) showed his intent early on when he tried to pull on the very first ball he faced but he mistimed it only to find George Bailey at mid-wicket pouching it. CSK on the second ball of their innings were 1-1.

Suresh Raina without wasting time started to hammer bowlers and he did it with affluence. Inside power play Raina smoked bowlers all-round the park while Dwayne Smith (7) who was struggling at the other end was cleaned up by Sandeep Sharma.

Raina notched up his half-century off just 16 balls, 2nd fastest IPL fifty. With field restrictions in place Raina was hard to stop. At the end of six overs CSK were in driving position with 100 on board for the loss of two wickets.

First ball of the Power Play Raina was run-out. Raina looking for a quick-run hesitated at first and then set off only to see Bailey hitting the stumps directly at strikers end. KXIP got a much needed breakthrough. Raina was threatening to take the game away from KXIP. He scored 87 off just 25 balls, hitting 12 4s and six 6s. His wicket pegged back CSK and they never found any valiant effort from other batsmen. Brendon McCullum was struggling as he was run-out for 11 runs off 16 balls.

Ravindra Jadeja tried his best to keep CSK in game but Parvinder Awana had him caught and ended his 21-ball innings of 27 runs. In same over Awana removed David Hussey (1) to sink CSK further in trouble at 142-6 in 13 overs.

MS Dhoni fought a lost battle with an unbeaten 42 off 31 balls he hit three 4s and 6s towards the end as asking rate kept hiking ball after ball. KXIP held the grip over match with some brilliant fielding and bowling after Raina’s departure. CSK in their allotted 20 overs managed to score 202-7 well 24 runs short of the target.

Akshar Patel was pick of the bowlers giving away just 23 runs in four overs with a wicket to his name. Mitchell Johnson (1-44), Sandeep Sharma (1-32) and Parvinder Awana (2-59) too picked wickets but were expensive.

Earlier, Virender Sehwag’s century lifted Kings XI Punjab to a mammoth total of 226-6 in 20 overs. He scored century off just 58 balls. This was for the second time Sehwag scored a ton in IPL. Manan Vohra and David Miller too played their part alongside Sehwag’s blaze.

Every CSK bowler gave over eight runs per over. Ishwar Pandey (1-35) was the least expensive bowler while Ashish Nehra (2-51) was the most expensive.

With this win Kings XI Punjab will now face Kolkata Knight Riders in the finals of IPL 2014.

Man of the Match: Virender Sehwag

Brief Scores: CSK 202-7 (S. Raina 87, P. Awana 2-59) lost to KXIP 226-6 (V. Sehwag 122, A. Nehra 2-51) by 24 runs.
IPL 7: Punjab seek finals berth against Chennai in Qualifier 2

IPL 7: Punjab seek finals berth against Chennai in Qualifier 2

Buoyed by their convincing seven-wicket win over title holders Mumbai Indians, Chennai Super Kings will take on Kings XI Punjab in their second IPL knockout game inside three days on Friday with swashbuckling batsman Glenn Maxwell being a major threat to their chances.

Riding on the 25-year-old Australian batsman`s incandescent 90-plus run knocks in Abu Dhabi and Cuttack in the group stage of the T20 League, Kings XI Punjab had flattened two-time champions Chennai Super Kings.
Tomorrow`s Qualifier 2, the penultimate IPL-7 match, at the Wankhede Stadium will provide Chennai a great platform to avenge those two defeats and leapfrog into the June 1 summit clash against Kolkata Knight Riders at Bangalore.

However, to achieve the feat of entering the final for the sixth time, Chennai will have to stop Maxwell, who simply tore into their bowlers, especially two key spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja on the two previous occasions. Maxwell, the third highest run-getter with 539 runs this season, smashed 95 in 43 balls in Abu Dhabi last month to help Punjab chase down a massive 206-run target set up by the Super Kings. The Victorian was even more dominating in their subsequent clash earlier this month at Cuttack, where he hit a whirlwind 90 off just 35 balls to power Punjab to an incredible score of 231.

Ashwin was smashed for 38 runs without a wicket in just two overs by Maxwell, while Jadeja conceded 37 runs in three overs without any success.
The destruction of these two Super Kings` bowlers by Maxwell will certainly come up for discussion by the Super Kings` think-tank ahead of their do-or-die encounter.

But Chennai will certainly look to take advantage of the fact that Kings XI, who had looked almost unstoppable during the group stage, have had their hiccups of late. They were beaten comprehensively by Kolkata Knight Riders at the Eden Gardens yesterday. Kings XI need to not only regroup quickly but also get over the travel fatigue in order to match the efficiency of the Super Kings, who simply outplayed Mumbai Indians here last night.

Super Kings changed their opening combination as they sent South Africa`s Faf du Plessis along with Dwayne Smith, the second highest run-scorer with 559 runs this season, instead of in-form New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum. The strategy paid off as the two stitched a half-century stand in quick time to lay a solid platform. Suresh Raina, who hit 33-ball 54 not out and stayed till the end, along with David Hussey (40 not out in 29 balls) then carried the Super Kings past Mumbai`s 173 for eight with a breezy unbroken stand of 89 for the fourth wicket.

The Super Kings` overall display was efficient without being flamboyant, and they would require another such stellar performance to deflate Kings XI`s hopes of making their maiden entry into the IPL title contest. Super Kings have relied on their Indian bowling trio of purple cap holder Mohit Sharma and two lead spinners (Ashwin and Jadeja), and would hope they can do the trick against the marauding blades of not only Maxwell and David Miller but also those of Virender Sehwag, Manan Vohra, Wriddhiman Saha and captain George Bailey.

This explosive batting line up failed to get going against the Knight Riders while chasing a modest 164-run target, and Kings XI would be eager to get over the flop show and put their best foot forward in what is their second and last chance to enter the final.

Kings XI`s bowling attack is also good. They have been relying mostly on their Indian players in Sandeep Sharma (17 wickets), left arm spinner Akshar Patel (16 wickets), who has been included in the Indian team for the tour of Bangladesh next month, and seasoned Laxmipathy Balaji (12 wickets), along with Australian left arm pacer Mitchell Johnson (14 wickets). They tried out leggie Karanveer Singh and Parvinder Awana in Qualifier 1, while resting Sandeep Sharma and Balaji, both of whom should be back in the playing eleven tomorrow.

The Kings XI bowlers need to provide the team with some early wickets against the Super Kings, who have the requisite depth and explosive power in their batting that includes captain and world`s most envied finisher Mahendra Singh Dhoni, to overhaul big scores. A capacity crowd is expected to witness the season`s second last IPL game and they would not like to watch anything less than another humdinger.

Teams (from):

Kings XI Punjab: Virender Sehwag, Manan Vohra, Wridhiman Saha, Glenn Maxell, David Miller, George Bailey(c), Akshar Patel, Rishi Dhawan, Mitchell Johnson, Karanveer Singh, L Balaji, Sandeep Sharma, Parvinder Awana, B Hendricks, Shaun Marsh, Cheteshwar Pujara, Mandeep Singh, Shardul Thakur, Shivam Sharma, Anureet Singh, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, M Karthik.

Chennai Super Kings: Mahendra Singh Dhoni(c), Suresh Raina, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Faf du Plessis, Brendon McCullum, Dwayne Smith, Ashish Nehra, Mohit Sharma, Samuel Badree, Ben Hilfenhaus, Matt Henry, B Aparajith, Mithun Manhas, Ishwar Pandey, Pawan Negi, Vijay Shankar, Ronit More, John Hastings
Friday, 30 May 2014
FIFA World Cup 2014: Five key players from Portugal

FIFA World Cup 2014: Five key players from Portugal

Portugal has long been admired for producing talented players, and their flair has earned them the tag of "the Brazilians of Europe."

But Portugal heads to the World Cup still looking for its champagne moment after coming up short at past tournaments. The Portuguese lost in the final at the 2004 European Championship and in the semifinals at the 2006 World Cup and Euro 2012.

Here are five players to watch:

CRISTIANO RONALDO

Along with Lionel Messi and Neymar, Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the world-class stars expected to light up the tournament.

Since his debut at 18 in 2003, Ronaldo has grown into the Portuguese team's dominant figure. Now 29, he will arguably be at the peak of his international career in Brazil.

Ronaldo has been in deadly form in front of goal. This season, he became Portugal's all-time leading scorer and has also surpassed Real Madrid great Ferenc Puskas' mark of 242 goals for the Spanish club.

PEPE

Portugal and Brazil are bound by centuries of history, family ties and a shared language. While Brazilian talent at European clubs is a common sight, Portugal has turned to its one-time colony for the national team, too, as many Brazilian players are entitled to dual nationality.

Pepe is one of them, and has made 57 appearances since his 2007 debut. The 31-year-old Real Madrid defender is a mainstay who can also add muscle to the midfield.

Before him on the list of Brazilian-born Portugal players were midfielder Deco, who appeared 75 times for Portugal, starting out under Luiz Felipe Scolari - another Brazilian and Portugal's longest-serving coach, between 2003 and 2008 - and Liedson, a striker who made 15 appearances.

JOAO MOUTINHO

Monaco midfielder Joao Moutinho keeps a low profile, but his vision, expert passing and high work rate have made him the focal point of Portugal's attacking moves.

Moutinho has made 66 appearances since 2005, though in Brazil he will be looking to build on his meager two-goal tally.

He produced a standout performance in Portugal's semifinal match at the 2012 European Championship before missing the target in a penalty shootout that gave Spain victory.

NANI

Manchester United winger Nani has had a miserable time over the past year due to injuries and poor form. The World Cup offers him the stage for a comeback.

Nani's peak form at his Premier League club came in the 2010-11 season when his teammates voted him their player of the season. Hopes were high that Portugal had discovered another Cristiano Ronaldo.

But since then Nani has faded, and he didn't find the net for 16 months up to October's qualifier against Luxembourg when he stood in for Ronaldo as team captain.

WILLIAM CARVALHO

Defensive midfielder William Carvalho is regarded as one of Portugal's promising newcomers.

Carvalho was named the Portuguese league's player of the month for three straight months between October and December. In November, he made his first two national team appearances, coming on as a substitute in a tense playoff match against Sweden and impressing with his composure.

Like Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani, he is a product of Sporting Lisbon's youth academy.

Carvalho, who will be 22 at the World Cup, is highly regarded for his powerful physique and heading skills, impressive reading of the game, and speed at tipping play from defense to attack.



FIFA World Cup 2014: Five key players from Russia

FIFA World Cup 2014: Five key players from Russia

Although Russia is a team with plenty of veterans, only one of them has seen World Cup action.

Alexander Kerzhakov came on as a substitute the last time Russia qualified for the World Cup in 2002, and he'll be in Brazil this year looking for more.

With Kerzhakov up front, Roman Shirokov will likely be the one to control the tempo of the game. And behind them they have Igor Akinfeev, a goalkeeper who has been a mainstay in the team for a decade.

Here are five players to watch:

IGOR AKINFEEV

CSKA Moscow goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev made his debut for Russia when he was only 18 years old - the youngest newcomer to the national squad. He has been Russia's top goalkeeper since 2005.

Akinfeev's father brought him to the CSKA football school when he was 4 and he has never switched to another club after making his professional debut in 2003.

SERGEI IGNASHEVICH

A stalwart of the Russia and CSKA Moscow defense, Sergei Ignashevich made his national team debut in 2002 against Sweden.

Ignashevich missed the 2004 European Championship because of injury but played in four of the five matches at Euro 2008, when Russia made the semifinals.

He played in all 10 qualifying matches for the World Cup in Brazil.

VASILIY BEREZUTSKIY

Vasiliy Berezutskiy joined CKSA Moscow from Torpedo-ZIL in 2002 and made his debut for Russia in 2003. His twin brother Alexei is also a CSKA Moscow and Russia defender.

ROMAN SHIROKOV

Fabio Capello's key playmaker, Roman Shirokov was called up by former Russia coach Guus Hiddink in 2008 but then dropped during qualifying for the 2010 World Cup.

Shirokov was back in the national team under Dick Advocaat and played in all 10 World Cup qualifying match under Capello, scoring three goals.

ALEXANDER KERZHAKOV

Alexander Kerzhakov is the only player on the current national team who played at the World Cup in 2002, coming on as a late substitute for Valery Karpin.

After joining Zenit St. Petersburg in 2001, Kerzhakov signed with Spanish club Sevilla in 2006 and won the Copa del Rey and UEFA Cup. But he was back in Russia in 2008 with Dynamo Moscow and then with Zenit in January 2010.

Kerzakov scored six goals in qualifying for Euro 2008, but former coach Guus Hiddink dropped him from the final squad because of poor form.



FIFA World Cup 2014: Five key players from South Korea

FIFA World Cup 2014: Five key players from South Korea

With plenty of European-based talent, South Korea has players with top-level experience and the quality to makes things happen on the field.

Chief among them may be Son Heung-Min, a Bayer Leverkusen forward who can change games with his pace and shooting.

Other standouts include Sunderland playmaker Ki Sung-Yeung and Kim Young-Kwon, a 24-year-old defender who is likely to be South Korea's next big export to Europe.

Here are five players to watch:

SON HEUNG-MIN

Potentially South Korea's game changer, forward Son Heung-Min is ready to prove himself at the World Cup after making his name in the Bundesliga.

Transferred to Bayer Leverkusen last July for $14 million after three seasons at Hamburg, the 21-year-old Son has not been consistently excellent for his new team but when he has played well, he's played very well.

Son is a striker who likes to use his pace to sprint past defenders from deep and then shoot from distance. He tends to score in streaks. And if he can get into groove in Brazil, South Korea will possess a powerful weapon.

Not always used well in the past for the national team, Son has started to find his form under coach Hong Myong-bo.

KI SUNG-YEUNG

Sunderland playmaker Ki Sung-Yeung controls the tempo of the South Korean team, and after an impressive season for his club he is now regarded as one of the best passers in the Premier League.

Still only 25 but with 56 international appearances, Ki is approaching his peak and rarely gives the ball away.

The issue for South Korea coach Hong Myong-Bo is whether to keep Ki deep, where he is a valuable outlet for defenders, or push him up the field where his passing can unlock backlines.

KIM YOUNG-KWON

Marcello Lippi declared in 2013 that central defender Kim Young-Kwon was good enough to play for Manchester United, one of the highest compliments that could be paid to a young Asian prospect.

Kim has been a star since joining Chinese team Guangzhou Evergrande in 2012, helping them to the 2013 Asian Champions League title.

Physically strong, good in the air and on the ground, the 24-year-old Kim occasionally is caught napping but is improving all the time and expected to be playing in Europe very soon.

JUNG SUNG-RYUNG

The goalkeeping position is a worry for South Korea coach Hong Myong-Bo, but 2010 custodian Jung Sung-Ryung is likely to start ahead of Kim Seung-gyu

Much depends on how Jung turns up.

The 'keeper during Seongnam's run to the 2010 Asian Champions League title seemed unbeatable, but any repeat of the clumsy performances of the second half of the 2013 K-League season could result in South Korea heading home early.

PARK CHU-YOUNG

Arsenal striker Park Chu-Young has only played seven minutes in the Premier League since joining the Gunners in August 2011 and is now on loan to second-division club Watford as he bids to stay in shape.

Inactivity at Arsenal cost Park his international place, but before the move to London he was one of Asia's top strikers.

Now back in the team, Park scored from a fierce half-volley against Greece in March.

Clever and technically excellent, Park leads the line well and links up with the team's talented attackers.

FIFA World Cup 2014: Five key players from Spain

FIFA World Cup 2014: Five key players from Spain

Spain has a surplus of talented players at nearly every position, so picking the right team will likely be Spain coach Vicente del Bosque's biggest dilemma.

The defending champions have been afforded little time to experiment with tough matches against the Netherlands and Chile before facing Australia in Group B.

The team's core is aging but still capable, while an incoming crop of young talent will offer Del Bosque further options.

Here are five Spain players to watch:

DIEGO COSTA

Diego Costa brings a new dynamic to the world champions, if coach Vicente del Bosque uses the Atletico Madrid striker correctly.

The Brazilian-born Costa has chosen to play for his adopted homeland of Spain, which has not possessed a player with his qualities since it began its trophy-winning ways at the 2008 European Championship.

Costa's gritty, physical play lends better to open space and long balls compared to Spain's short passing, possession style, with the quick-tempered striker terrorizing defenses when given space to run at them.

But the tight confines of Spain's play could limit Costa's impact unless Del Bosque embraces his qualities and character, which will be under duress from the home fans for choosing to play for Spain.

IKER CASILLAS

Iker Casillas has been relegated to backup goalkeeper at Real Madrid, but the Spain captain has been stellar in that role by leading his club to the Copa del Rey final and deep into the knockout stages of the Champions League.

No player has made as many appearances for Spain as Casillas, who will be at his eighth major championship, including four World Cups.

XAVI HERNANDEZ

At 34, this could surely be Xavi Hernandez's last World Cup.

Spain's key midfield navigator has spoken about his desire to lead the team in South America, and it is hard to imagine Xavi failing to be one of the difference-makers in the tournament, especially when motivated.

Much of Spain's play is directed off his boot, and much of Spain's success over the past six years can be attributed to his ability to set the tempo of a match.

ANDRES INIESTA

Spain's wealth of midfield talent is a key difference-maker for the world champions, and Andres Iniesta is a key cog in that engine.

Iniesta, who scored in the 116th minute to give Spain its first World Cup title four years ago, has had a subdued season at Barcelona with occasional flashes of brilliance. But he seems to turn it on for Spain, when he normally proves to be a key player in unlocking defenses that tend to stack the area and stay behind the ball.

SERGIO RAMOS

Only 27, Sergio Ramos has already made 115 appearances for the national team. And with Carles Puyol gone, the Real Madrid center back is the natural successor to lead the team from the back.

While teammate Gerard Pique may be more attuned to a "sweeper" role of carrying the ball forward, Ramos has been stellar in the center of defense where his speed, size and ability to read the game means he rarely gets beat.

While much of the talk of Spain's success surrounds the midfield, the defense has not conceded a goal in the knockout stages of the past two European Championships and the World Cup - a span of 10 games.


Thursday, 29 May 2014
MS Dhoni says CSK bowlers did a real good job

MS Dhoni says CSK bowlers did a real good job





After sealing a place in the second qualifier with a comfortable seven-wicket win, Chennai Super Kings skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni today heaped praise on his bowlers for putting up a good show on a wicket that was favourable to batting.

"I think the bowlers did a real good job. It was a very good wicket to bat on. Ashish and Ishwar moved the ball around a bit. In the middle overs, the spinners bowled well," said Dhoni after his team chased down Mumbai's 173-8 with eight balls to spare at Brabourne stadium here.

"180-185 was a par score, good track, fast outfield and not too big boundaries. 173 was just a bit under par, but we needed to score the runs.

"It would have been better had the top order carried on. It would have made life easier for Hussey and Raina."

Chennai pulled off some difficult catches. One of them was of Corey Anderson--the hero of Mumbai's last match against Rajasthan Royals.

It was a top-edge from Anderson which had gone high and Ishwar Pandey had to wait patiently for a long time at deep backward square leg, before pouching it to dismiss the New Zealander.

Asked about the catches, Dhoni said: "I thought those catches would have been dropped, but Ishwar's catch was brilliant.

"We knew Anderson will try and swing and I kept Ashwin for him and it paid off."

Dhoni said it was the experience of Hussey and Raina which helped them and they were always confident of pulling off the chase.

"We didn't panic. That's where experience counts. I felt with Hussey around, if he gets going he can accelerate and the firepower with me and Jaddu around, we could chase 9 or 10 an over," he said.

It was a good day for Raina as he was not only adjudged the Man of the Match for his unbeaten 33-ball 54 but early in the day he was also named the captain of the Indian team that would be touring Bangladesh next month.

Raina said: "God has been very kind to me(after being named captain of India for Bangladesh).

"We executed the bowing plan really well. And then the batsmen, all of them did their job. I knew I had to bat till the last over.

"Wicket was really good, ball was coming on nicely. I knew I could hit Ojha over midwicket and Bhajji over cover.

Huss was batting well and we were running between the wickets well too.

Talking about their fielding, Raina said: "Ishwar took a brilliant catch to dismiss Anderson and hopefully we can continue playing good cricket in the next two games as well."

Mumbai Indians captain, Rohit Sharma said the score of 173 was a good total and it was just not their day.

"We batted well till the 15th-16th over. 170 was a good enough, target. We would have liked some more but we really played well and I have a lot of pride in this side and how long we've come in this tournament. This just wasn't our day."

Sharma lauded his team for bouncing back after losing the first five games in UAE leg.

"We showed a lot of character after losing the first five games. Coming back to India and performing like that was incredible," he said.

"I didn't have to do too much, we were in that momentum after our last win and we wanted to carry it though to this game. But unfortunately CSK were the better team today and that's what it is. We've got some work to do and hopefully we'll come back bigger and stronger next year."



IPL 7, KXIP vs DD: Kings XI Punjab vs Delhi Daredevils

IPL 7, KXIP vs DD: Kings XI Punjab vs Delhi Daredevils

Welcome to the coverage of the Indian Premier League 2014, Match 55 between Kings XI Punjab and Delhi Daredevils from the Punjab Cricket Association stadium in Mohali. Full IPL Coverage

Kings XI Punjab defeated Delhi Daredevils by seven wickets at the PCA stadium in Mohali. Delhi finish their campaign with another heavy loss. They were never in the game after being bundled out for 115. Though they picked up Sehwag and Maxwell early, Vohra and Miller stitched a nice little partnership of 96. The youngster Vohra, showed maturity in his innings as he hung in there despite struggling at the start. Unadkat bowled well at the start, Tahir was good with his variations but the target was not enough to defend.

Virender Sehwag and Manan Vohra are out in the middle for Kings XI Punjab while Mohammed Shami will start the proceedings for Delhi Daredevils.

Delhi Daredevils were bowled out for a paltry 115 runs after batting first against Kings XI Punjab at the PCA stadium in Mohali.

TOSS: Kings XI Punjab won the toss and elected to field against Delhi Daredevils.

Five key players from Kings XI Punjab:

Mitchell Johnson: The 32-year-old speedster has literally turned into a weapon of mass destruction for Australia, as far as the game of cricket is concerned. With 24 wickets in 17 games, the left-arm seamer was the key in Mumbai Indians triumph in IPL last season. His ability to extract late swing at a ferocious pace makes him one of the most effective bowlers in the world today. His frightening pace and malevolent demeanour has earned him 38 scalps in 30 T20 internationals. Apart from his bowling skills, Johnson is more than just a handy batsman with the ability to clear the fence whenever required. In the format where quick wickets are bound to make an impact almost immediately, Johnson is a must-have weapon in your armory.

David Miller: The 24-year-old South African, aka 'Killer Miller' in IPL, is as explosive as they come in limited-overs cricket. After making a name for his power-hitting, Miller has turned into a gruesome strokeplayer in modern-day cricket. His ability to play a wide range of strokes, both off the front and backfoot has earned him quite a reputation in international cricket. Miller was also one of the most entertaining batsmen in the IPL last season. The young South African took the IPL by storm after scoring 418 runs with 28 fours and 24 sixes for Kings XI Punjab in 2013. The performance impressed his team owners to such an extent that he became one of the only two players to be retained by KXIP ahead of 2014 IPL auctions.

Thisara Perera: The 24-year-old Sri Lankan has turned into one of the most prolific all-rounders in limited-overs cricket lately. His aggressive batting style and ability to pick crucial wickets make him a crucial player for the Lankans. Perera was sensational in his 2013 IPL season after he slammed 233 runs and notched up 19 wickets for Sunrisers Hyderabad in a mere 16 games. He is also the only fourth Sri Lankan bowler to take a hat-trick in ODIs - a feat that came against Pakistan in 2012. With over 300 runs and 22 wickets in T20 internationals, Perera is likely to be one of the impact players for Kings XI Punjab in this year's IPL.

Glenn Maxwell: The million-dollar man last season, Maxwell was snatched by Kings XI Punjab for a whopping Rs 6 crore this year. The 25-year-old is a terrific all-rounder to have in your side. He can bowl right-arm off-spin and bat anywhere in the middle-order. He shot to fame after smashing a 19-ball half-century in 2009-10 - the fastest fifty in Australia's domestic cricket. His most recent antics of 33-ball 74, the third fastest fifty in T20 internationals, shows his batting prowess. He will have to play a key role if Punjab intend to clinch their first IPL title this year.

George Bailey: The 31-year-old Australian batsman will lead the new-look Kings XI Punjab in the IPL this season. With over 1400 runs in T20 internationals alongside 12 ODI fifties and two centuries, Bailey is one of the most bankable cricketers in modern-day cricket. The Tasmanian cricketer is an exquisite striker of the ball and capable of employing big shots to change the match within a few overs. His presence in the team will undoubtedly strengthen the middle-order for Kings XI Punjab.

Five key players from Delhi Daredevils:

Kevin Pietersen: Arguably one of the most influential batsmen in limited-overs cricket, Kevin Pietersen will be Delhi's biggest bet in the IPL this year. Following his bitter fall-out with the ECB recently, Pietersen will be available for the full season - a fact that will surely lift the Daredevils. With over 600 runs and seven wickets in just 21 games, Pietersen is a must-have player in any team. Apart from his off-spinners and batting prowess, Delhi will also benefit from his leadership skills and international experience in the tournament this year.

Dinesh Karthik: The second most-expensive player in the IPL auction this year, Dinesh Karthik was notched up by Delhi for a whopping Rs 12.5 crore. Karthik was a livewire, with over 500 runs, for Mumbai Indians in the IPL last year. The right-hander's ability to read the game and mould his innings accordingly makes him a perfect player for limited-overs cricket. Having been named the vice-captain of Delhi, Karthik will also be responsible to add to the team's think-tank in the IPL this year.

Quinton de Kock: The 21-year-old wicketkeeper batsman is touted to be the next big thing for South Africa. His aggressive batting style at the top-order has been given headaches to some of the best bowlers in limited overs cricket. His recent quickfire innings against Australia in the two T20 internationals couldn't save the Proteas but surely showcased his batting prowess against a strong opposition. With a strike-rate of over 119 in T20s, de Kock is more than capable of leading the charge for the Daredevils in IPL 7.

Mohammed Shami: The 24-year-old speedster has been a terrific find for the Indian team. In a span of just 29 ODIs, Shami has bagged 50 wickets at an average of 28.96. Shami is the first Indian to bowl four or more maiden overs on his ODI debut. The Bengal seamer is more than capable of moving the new ball, but it is the ability to get reverse-swing that has brought him more accolades of late. Shami's discipline in line and length has made him MS Dhoni's go-to-bowler in the hour of need for India. Though Shami is yet to prove his mettle in T20 internationals, but expect him to come out with flying colours for Delhi in IPL 7.

Ross Taylor: One of the highly experienced and explosive batsmen in limited, Ross Taylor is a natural match-winner for any team. The aggressive top-order batsman is more than capable of taking the game away from the opposition. His ability to play the big shots and building crucial partnerships in the middle makes him an ideal player to have at no. 2 slot. Taylor slammed three consecutive fifties to script New Zealand's 2-1 ODI-series win over England in 2013. He has also been in terrific form in T20s with over 950 runs with 63 fours and 38 sixes. He will be one of the key players to watch out for in IPL this season.

Teams(from):

Kings XI Punjab: George Bailey(c), Mitchell Johnson, David Miller, Glenn Maxwell, Virender Sehwag, Shaun Marsh, Cheteshwar Pujara, Gurkeerat Singh, Manan Vohra, Mandeep Singh, Rishi Dhawan, Thisara Perera, Akshar Patel, Karanveer Singh, Wriddhiman Saha(wk), Murali Kartik, Shivam Sharma, Beuran Hendricks, Lakshmipathy Balaji, Sandeep Sharma, Parvinder Awana, Anureet Singh, Shardul Thakur

Delhi Daredevils:Kevin Pietersen(c), Dinesh Karthik(wk), Murali Vijay, Manoj Tiwary, JP Duminy, Ross Taylor, Kedar Jadhav, Mayank Agarwal, Saurabh Tiwary, Milind Kumar, Laxmi Ratan Shukla, Jimmy Neesham, Jayant Yadav, Quinton de Kock, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Mohammed Shami, Jaydev Unadkat, Wayne Parnell, Siddarth Kaul, Rahul Shukla, HS Sharath, Rahul Sharma, Shahbaz Nadeem
IPL 7, MI vs RR: Mumbai Indians vs Rajasthan Royals

IPL 7, MI vs RR: Mumbai Indians vs Rajasthan Royals

Welcome to the coverage of the Indian Premier League 2014, Match 56 between Kings XI Punjab and Rajasthan Royals from the Punjab Cricket Association stadium in Mohali. Full IPL Coverage

Mumbai Indians defeated Rajasthan Royals by five wickets with 32 balls to spare at the Wankhede stadium.

Corey Anderson: I went there with a clear mind, we knew we simply had to go for the chase. I am glad I could do something, Rayudu smashed around and Tare hit the last ball for a six. I just wanted to stay still, and not over-complicate things. During the latter part of the chase, I realised that we had a chance. This is one of my best innings, feeling nice about my knock and thanks to this massive crowd for all the support.

Rohit Sharma: My heartbeat is not yet settled, the performance was such that it will take a little while. Such performances will not come everyday, this is for the people of Mumbai. Anderson was outstanding, so was Rayudu's knock and credit to Tare as well, hitting a six from the first ball is very tough. We had the belief in us, we have pulled off such chases before as well, we knew we could chase this one down. It was tough after the UAE leg, but I knew we had the team to do well. Looking to play well in the qualifiers.

Michael Hussey: I have played a fair bit of cricket but I have never been part of something like this. I was not sure if we could do it. It was amazing. We are through to the play-offs.

Ambati Rayudu: It was incredible. I have never seen a game like this.

OH DEAR! THIS IS UNBELIEVABLE!! Mumbai Indians have SEALED THE PALYOFFS BERTH and Rajasthan Royals have been KNOCKED OUT. Who would have EXPECTED that?

It's a CARNIVAL here at Wankhede. Aditya Tare is ECSTATIC and sets off for a BLIND RUN with his jersey over his head. Mumbai Indians' players charge down the ground and join the MAD CELEBRATIONS. Rajasthan Royals are ABSOLUTELY STUNNED, Rahul Dravid THROWS OFF HIS CAP in disgust while Shane Watson appears to have SEEN A GHOST perhaps. INCREDIBLE SCENES at the Wankhede!!

14.4 overs: SIX!! Aditya Tare takes it on the full and smokes it over long leg for the maximum. Tare has DONE IT!!

Aditya Tare comes to the crease for Mumbai Indians. Can Tare SEAL A THRILLER it for Mumbai?

This is turning out to be A CRACKER OF A GAME!!

Looks like the JOURNEY IS OVER for Mumbai. But wait a minute, the stats show that Mumbai STILL HAVE A CHANCE to make the playoffs. Mumbai need a BOUNDARY OFF THE NEXT BALL to win the game and SEAL THE PLAYOFFS BERTH!!

14.3 overs: That's OUT!! Ambati Rayudu has been run-out by Abhishek Nayar. Rayudu drills it towards covers and sets off for a quick single as the fielder fires in a throw but misses....the batsmen set off for the second run but Rayudu way shot of his crease. Ambati Rayudu departs after scoring 30 runs off 10 balls with five boundaries and a six.

Mumbai Indians require another 2 runs off 1 ball to seal the Playoffs berth!!

14.2 overs: SIX!! Ambati Rayudu takes it on the full and slaps it over long leg for the maximum. Rayudu YOU BEAUTY!!

With Ambati Rayudu(23) and Corey Anderson(94) at the crease, Mumbai Indians are currently at 181/4 after 14 overs.

ELEVEN RUNS off the over!!

13.5 overs: FOUR!! Corey Anderson bends down and slaps it over midwicket for a boundary. Anderson is playing a GEM OF AN INNINGS here!!

13.2 overs: FOUR!! Corey Anderson goes on the backfoot and smashes it back past the bowler for a boundary. That almost TOOK THE ARM of Tambe!!

Mumbai Indians require another 20 runs off 9 balls to seal the Playoffs berth!!

With Ambati Rayudu(22) and Corey Anderson(84) at the crease, Mumbai Indians are currently at 170/4 after 13 overs.

THIRTEEN RUNS off the over!!

12.6 overs: FOUR!! Ambati Rayudu leans forward and drills it through extra cover for a boundary. A MUCH-NEEDED BOUNDARY for Mumbai!!

12.1 overs: FOUR!! Corey Anderson waits for it and muscles it towards long-off for a boundary. NO CHANCE for the fielder there!!

Mumbai Indians require another 33 runs off 15 balls to seal the Playoffs berth!!

With Ambati Rayudu(18) and Corey Anderson(75) at the crease, Mumbai Indians are currently at 157/4 after 12 overs.

EIGHTEEN RUNS off the over!!

11.5 overs: FOUR!! Corey Anderson slashes hard and gets an outside edge towards third man for a boundary.

11.3 overs: FOUR!! Ambati Rayudu hangs back and swats it over midwicket for another boundary. That's 3RD CONSECUTIVE BOUNDARY for Rayudu!!

11.2 overs: FOUR!! Ambati Rayudu makes room and smashes it over covers for a boundary. Rayudu is TAKING ON Watto!!

11.1 overs: FOUR!! Ambati Rayudu picks the slower ball and carves it over short third man for a boundary.

Mumbai Indians require another 51 runs off 21 balls to seal the Playoffs berth!!

With Ambati Rayudu(5) and Corey Anderson(70) at the crease, Mumbai Indians are currently at 139/4 after 11 overs.

NINETEEN RUNS off the over!!

10.6 overs: FOUR!! Corey Anderson watches it carefully and steers it past the wicket-keeper for a boundary. Faulkner DOESN'T LOOK HAPPY!!

10.5 overs: SIX!! Corey Anderson clears his front leg and smashes it over long-on for the maximum. Anderson keeps MUMBAI IN THE HUNT!!

10.1 overs: FOUR!! Corey Anderson makes room and hammers it back past the bowler for a boundary. That went LIKE A TRACER BULLET!!

With Ambati Rayudu(4) and Corey Anderson(52) at the crease, Mumbai Indians are currently at 120/4 after 10 overs.

SIXTEEN RUNS off the over!!

9.6 overs: FOUR!! Ambati Rayudu clears his front leg and slams it straight down the ground for a boundary.

9.4 overs: SIX!! Corey Anderson reaches out and bludgeons it flat over long-off for the maximum. Anderson brings up his FIFTY IN STYLE!!

9.1 overs: FOUR!! Rohit Sharma reaches out and gets an inside edge past the stumps for a boundary. Sharma was REALLY LUCKY there!!

With Rohit Sharma(12) and Corey Anderson(46) at the crease, Mumbai Indians are currently at 104/3 after nine overs.

FIFTEEN RUNS off the over!!

8.3 overs: SIX!! Corey Anderson stands tall and tonks it over long-on for the maximum. Anderson KEEPS THEM COMING for Mumbai!!

8.2 overs: FOUR!! Corey Anderson frees his arms and hammers it through covers for a boundary.

Mumbai Indians require another 101 runs off 39 balls to seal the Playoffs berth!!

With Rohit Sharma(11) and Corey Anderson(32) at the crease, Mumbai Indians are currently at 89/3 after eight overs.

FOURTEEN RUNS off the over!!

7.4 overs: SIX!! Corey Anderson picks the length early and sends it deep into the stands over deep midwicket for the maximum. Anderson is LOOKING GOOD for Mumbai!!

7.3 overs: FOUR!! Corey Anderson bends down and sweeps it over midwicket for a boundary.

First sign of spin, Pravin Tambe comes into the attack for Rajasthan. It's Tambe vs Rohit here!!

With Rohit Sharma(7) and Corey Anderson(20) at the crease, Mumbai Indians are currently at 71/3 after six overs.

TEN RUNS off the over!!

5.4 overs: SIX!! Rohit Sharma stands tall and slices it over backward point for the maximum.

EIGHT RUNS off the over!!

Rohit Sharma is the new man in for Mumbai Indians.

Rajasthan Royals are PUMPED UP here!!

4.6 overs: That's OUT!! Kevon Cooper has got Kieron Pollard out caught at square leg. Pollard was deceived with the slower ball and ends up spooning a simple catch to Brad Hodge who doesn't drop those. Kieron Pollard departs after scoring seven runs off three balls. BIG BLOW for Mumbai!!

4.5 overs: SIX!! Kieron Pollard clears his front leg and mauls it over the cow corner for the maximum. Pollard GETS INTO THE ACT for Mumbai!!

Kieron Pollard comes to the crease for Mumbai Indians.

4.2 overs: OUT!! Kevon Cooper has bowled Michael Hussey on a fuller delivery. Hussey was looking to go over midwicket but misses it as the ball makes a mess of the stumps. Michael Hussey departs after scoring 22 runs off 11 balls with a boundary and two sixes. Another BLOW for Mumbai!!

Kevon Cooper comes into the attack for Rajasthan.

With Michael Hussey(22) and Corey Anderson(18) at the crease, Mumbai Indians are currently at 53/1 after four overs.

NINETEEN RUNS off the over!!

3.4 overs: SIX!! Michael Hussey skips down the track and heaves it over square leg for the maximum.

3.1 overs: SIX!! Corey Anderson stands tall and smashes it straight into the sightscreen for the maximum. Anderson is DEALING IN BOUNDARIES here!!

FIFTEEN RUNS fof the over!!

2.5 overs: FOUR!! Corey Anderson slashes hard and gets an outside edge towards third man for a boundary.

2.2 overs: SIX!! Corey Anderson hangs back and smokes it over midwicket for the maximum. Anderson WASTES NO TIME!!

2.1 overs: FOUR!! Corey Anderson leans forward and drills it through covers for a boundary.

First change, Shane Watson comes into the attack for Rajasthan.

SEVEN RUNS off the over!!

Corey Anderson comes to the crease for Mumbai.

1.5 overs: That's OUT!! Dhawal Kulkarni has got Lendl Simmons out caught at mid-on. Simmons was looking to clear the in-field but falls for the slower delivery as James Faulkner takes a comfortable catch at the edge of the circle. Lendl Simmons departs after scoring 12 runs off eight balls with three boundaries. EARLY BLOW for Mumbai!!

1.1 overs: SIX!! Michael Hussey rocks back and smashes it over deep midwicket for the maximum. That was MUSCLED by Hussey!!

Dhawal Kulkarni will bowl from the other end for Rajasthan.

TWELVE RUNS off the over!!

0.6 overs: FOUR!! Lendl Simmons shuffles across and scoops it over short fine leg for a boundary.

Lendl Simmons and Michael Hussey are out in the middle for Mumbai Indians while James Faulkner will start the proceedings for Rajasthan Royals.

Rajasthan Royals have scored 189 runs at the loss of four wickets after batting first against Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede stadium. Mumbai need to chase this down in 14.3 overs to book a play-off place ahead of Rajasthan. Can they do it? They have the batting to do it but it's going to be very tough! Watson never got going opening the innings but Karun Nair and Samson shared a very good 100 partnership to up the ante. Both finished their fifties before perishing. With the stage nicely set for the rest of the batsmen to go big, Hodge and Faulkner applied the finishing touches to post a mammoth score. Interestingly, if we date back a couple of months, in a T20 Cup match against Ireland, Netherlands needed to chase down the same target of 190 in 14.2 overs and they did it in style. In fact, they finished the game in just 13.5 overs. Can Mumbai take some inspiration and do something similar tonight?

That's the END OF INNINGS for Rajasthan!!

19.6 overs: FOUR!! Brad Hodge picks the length early and swipes it towards long leg for a boundary. Hodge FINISHES IT OFF IN STYLE!!

19.5 overs: OUT!! Kieron Pollard has got James Fualkner out caught at long leg. Faulkner was looking for the big shot but fails to time it well as Corey Anderson completes the catch. James Faulkner departs after scoring 23 runs off 12 balls with three sixes.

19.3 overs: SIX!! Brad Hodge stands tall and smashes it straight into the sightscreen for the maximum. LUSTY BLOW from Hodge!!

Kieron Pollard will bowl the FINAL OVER for Mumbai Indians.

With Brad Hodge(14) and James Faulkner(23) at the crease, Rajasthan Royals are currently at 173/3 after 19 overs.

TWELVE RUNS off the over!!

18.6 overs: SIX!! James Faulkner takes it on the full and smacks it over deep midwicket for the maximum. That was BLUDGEONED by Faulkner!!

With Brad Hodge(11) and James Faulkner(15) at the crease, Rajasthan Royals are currently at 161/3 after 18 overs.

EIGHTEEN RUNS off the over!!

17.5 overs: FOUR!! Brad Hodge goes deep in the crease and crashes the cut towards third man for a boundary.

17.3 overs: SIX!! James Faulkner employs the slog-sweep again and sends it even further this time for the maximum. Bhajji is MISSING THE PLOT here!!

17.2 overs: SIX!! James Faulkner bends down and smokes it over square leg for the maximum. Faulkner GETS INTO ACTION!!

With Brad Hodge(6) and James Faulkner(2) at the crease, Rajasthan Royals are currently at 143/3 after 17 overs.

SEVEN RUNS off the over!!

James Faulkner comes to the crease for Rajasthan.

15.3 overs: That's OUT!! Shreyas Gopal has got Sanju Samson out caught at point. Samson was looking to go big but ends up slicing it high in the air while Harbhajan Singh gets underneath it to complete the catch. Sanju Samson departs after scoring 74 runs off 47 balls with seven boundaries and three sixes. DOUBLE WHAMMY for Rajasthan!!

With Brad Hodge(0) and Sanju Samson(73) at the crease, Rajasthan Royals are currently at 134/2 after 15 overs.

THIRTEEN RUNS off the over!!

Brad Hodge comes to the crease for Rajasthan Royals.

Jasprit Bumrah GETS THE BREAKTHROUGH for Mumbai!!

14.6 overs: OUT!! Jasprit Bumrah has got Karun Nair out caught at short midwicket. Nair was looking to pull but mistimes it straight into the hands of Lendl Simmons who takes it comfortably. Karun Nair departs after scoring 50 runs off 27 balls with seven boundaries and two sixes.

14.4 overs: FOUR!! Sanju Samson takes it on the full and slices it over backward point for another boundary. Samson is DEALING IN BOUNDARIES here!!

14.1 overs: FOUR!! Sanju Samson waits for it and runs it down towards third man for a boundary.

With Karun Nair(50) and Sanju Samson(60) at the crease, Rajasthan Royals are currently at 121/1 after 14 overs.

FIFTEEN RUNS off the over!!

13.5 overs: SIX!! Sanju Samson stands tall and smashes it deep into the stands over long-on for the maximum. This is BRILLIANT BATTING from Samson!!

13.4 overs: Karun Nair leans forward and flicks it through midwicket for a single. That's FIFTY for Nair!!

13.3 overs: FOUR!! Karun Nair bends down and scoops it over short fine leg fielder for a boundary. CLEVER CRICKET from Nair!!

SIXTEEN RUNS off the over!!

12.6 overs: FOUR!! Karun Nair employs the reverse-sweep and sends it racing past short third man for a boundary.

12.4 overs: FOUR!! Karun Nair gets int position early and steers towards third man for a boundary.

12.3 overs: SIX!! Karun Nair hangs back and clouts the pull over deep midwicket fence for the maximum. MEATY BLOW from Nair!!

12.2 overs: Sanju Samson waits for it and clips it towards fine leg for a single. That's FIFTY for Samson!!

With Karun Nair(30) and Sanju Samson(45) at the crease, Rajasthan Royals are currently at 90/1 after 12 overs.

TWELVE RUNS off the over!!

11.6 overs: FOUR!! Sanju Samson swivels across and clips it over short fine leg for a boundary.

11.2 overs: FOUR!! Karun Nair goes on the backfoot and heaves it over extra cover for a boundary.

NINETEEN RUNS off the over!!

10.6 overs: FOUR!! Karun Nair leans forward and punches it through midwicket for another boundary. Nair is ON FIRE!!

10.5 overs: FOUR!! Karun Nair flays the reverse-sweep and sends it scurrying towards third man for a boundary.

10.3 overs: FOUR!! Karun Nair hangs back and swats it through midwicket for a boundary. Nair JOINS THE PARTY!!

10.2 overs: SIX!! Karun Nair picks the length early and mauls it over deep midwicket or the maximum.

With Karun Nair(4) and Sanju Samson(39) at the crease, Rajasthan Royals are currently at 53/1 after nine overs.

TEN RUNS off the over!!

8.5 overs: SIX!! Sanju Samson gets down on his knee and smokes it over deep square leg for the maximum. Samson is LOOKING SOLID here!!  

Shreyas Gopal comes into the attack for Mumbai Indians.

With Karun Nair(1) and Sanju Samson(27) at the crease, Rajasthan Royals are currently at 38/1 after seven overs.

FIVE RUNS off the over!!

Karun Nair comes to the crease for Rajasthan Royals.

Looking at Kieron Pollard's CELEBRATION after that catch, it seems as if the Trinidadian has been PRACTISING HIS GUITAR HERO MOVES for quite a while now!!

5.3 overs: That's OUT!! Harbhajan Singh has got Shane Watson out caught at long-on. Watson skips down the track looking for the big shot but mistimes it straight down the throat of Kieron Pollard who doesn't drop those. Shane Watson departs after scoring eight runs off 18 balls with a boundary. Watto's POOR RUN continues!!

Harbhajan Singh comes into the attack for Mumbai Indians.

With Shane Watson(4) and Sanju Samson(24) at the crease, Rajasthan Royals are currently at 30/0 after five overs.

TEN RUNS off the over!!

4.4 overs: SIX!! Sanju Samson bends down and smacks it over deep square leg for the maximum. That LANDED right on the fence!!

First sign of spin, Pragyan Ojha comes into the attack for Mumbai Indians.

With Shane Watson(2) and Sanju Samson(17) at the crease, Rajasthan Royals are currently at 20/0 after four overs.

FIVE RUNS off the over!!

3.6 overs: FOUR!! Sanju Samson takes it on the full and whacks it through covers for a boundary. POOR LINE from Bumrah!!

With Shane Watson(1) and Sanju Samson(13) at the crease, Rajasthan Royals are currently at 15/0 after three overs.

TEN RUNS off the over!!

2.6 overs: FOUR!! Sanju Samson goes forward and slices it past backward point for another boundary. BACK-TO-BACK boundaries for Samson!!

2.5 overs: FOUR!! Sanju Samson makes room and steers it past short third man for a boundary.

That's a MAIDEN from Bumrah!!

Jasprit Bumrah will bowl from the other end for Mumbai Indians.

FIVE RUNS off the over!!

0.3 overs: FOUR!! Sanju Samson leans forward and drills it straight down the ground for the first boundary in the innings. BEAUTIFUL SHOT from Samson!!

Shane Watson and Sanju Samson are out in the middle for Rajasthan Royals while Corey Anderson will start the proceedings for Mumbai Indians.

TEAM NEWS: Mumbai have Kieron Pollard, Lendl Simmons, Michael Hussey and Corey Anderson as the overseas players in their Playing XI. On the other hand, Rajasthan will play Shane Watson, Brad Hodge, James Faulkner and Kevon Cooper as the overseas players in their Playing XI today.

TOSS: Mumbai Indians won the toss and elected to field against Rajasthan Royals.

What's At Stake:

The 2008 champions, with 14 points in their kitty and a Net Run-Rate of +0.247, have to just defeat Mumbai to sail through. On the other hand, Mumbai with 12 points, not only need to win the game but have do so in a handsome margin to make the grade as their Net Run-Rate is -0.086. In case of a washed out affair, Rajasthan will become the fourth team to qualify.

Quotes:

"I have been working hard in the nets and have been feeling good. Unfortunately, I couldn't bat well until the last two matches. It is just nice to have a positive influence on the team," Michael Hussey said on his recent good form.

Team Profiles:

Mumbai Indians:

When the two teams met previously at Ahmedabad on May 19, Mumbai emerged convincing victors by 25 runs. Lendl Simmons and Michael Hussey came up with superb knocks in that game while the Mumbai spinners did a terrific job as well. The hosts will be eager to come up with a similar performance and force their way into the next stage.

The return to form of Hussey has been a big positive for the Mumbai team. The Mumbai team management will be pleased that the left-hander has been amongst the runs and has formed a successful opening combination with Lend Simmons, who has scored the only century of the tournament so far. Skipper Rohit Sharma has also been in good touch and will be eager to extend his form while the big hitting Kieron Pollard will be keen to make a mark.

On the bowling front, the addition of young Karnataka leg-spinner Shreyas Gopal has added teeth to the attack while Harbhajan Singh has been in his elements. Mumbai brought in Marchant de Lange after trying out Krishmar Santokie and the former bowled well at the death against the Delhi in the previous match. Young seamer Jasprit Bumrah has also done well with the ball. Mumbai will be hoping that the bowlers continue their good work.

Rajasthan Royals:

The visitors possess a very good batting line up but have not quite found the right balance. Captain Shane Watson has to quickly put behind his first ball duck in the last game while the likes of Ajinkya Rahane and Sanju Samson have to convert their starts into bigger scores.

Karun Nair, who showed a lot of promise in the earlier games, has not quite made an impact of late. Rajasthan will be hoping that he comes good in this game while they will be expecting Stuart Binny, who has not quite fired in this edition, to come up with a good contribution. RAJ's big hitters Brad Hodge and James Faulkner will also have a crucial role to play with the bat.

Pravin Tambe has been the pick of the Rajasthan bowlers in this edition and the team management will be expecting him to deliver again. The leg-spinner's extensive knowledge of the Wankhede conditions will also be handy for the visiting team. Faulkner has been inconsistent and has shown a tendency to leak runs. RAJ will be hoping that he comes up with a disciplined performance while they will also expect skipper Watson to deliver with the ball.

Five key players from Mumbai Indians:

Corey Anderson: The 23-year-old New Zealand player was known for his powerful hitting but his record-breaking 36-ball ODI hundred made him an overnight star across the globe. With the ability to clear the ropes at regular intervals, Anderson is just the guy you need to take the game away from the opposition. Apart from his batting prowess, Anderson is a more-than-handy seamer with a knack of picking wickets at crucial intervals. His all-round abilities also earned him a whopping Rs 4.5 crore after Mumbai Indians secured the services of the Kiwi sensation during IPL 2014 auction. The Christchurch batsman will surely be one of the most influential players in the IPL this year.

Lasith Malinga: The biggest reason why Mumbai are feared by their opponents are Malinga's toe-crushing yorkers. He was pivotal with 20 scalps in 17 games in Mumbai India's victorious 2013 IPL campaign. He will continue to lead the bowling and will hope the batsmen can keep up their end of the deal this time around.

Kieron Pollard: The 26-year-old Trinidadian cricketer has been one of the most influential players for Mumbai over the years. A prolific batsman, wicket-taking bowler and an absolute livewire in the field, Pollard has the right mix of being a successful limited-overs specialist. The right-hander slammed 420 runs and took 10 wickets to lead Mumbai to their first-ever IPL title last season. Kieron Pollard will need to continue his good run if Mumbai intend to successfully defend their title this year.

Michael Hussey: The 38-year-old Australian run-machine was sensational at the top-order for Chennai Super Kings last season. The left-hander was the tournament's leading run-scorer with 733 runs in 17 matches, a reason why Mumbai Indians paid a whopping Rs 5 crore to secure his services. He will play a crucial role in stabilising the innings for early in the batting-order for Mumbai.

Rohit Sharma: While he faced a lot of criticism for his performances in an Indian shirt, Rohit Sharma has been an absolute sensation with the bat for Mumbai Indians. The right-handed batsman has amassed over 2500 runs and took 14 wickets in 97 games for Mumbai in his IPL career. He was also the leading run-scorer with over 500 runs for Mumbai Indians in their victorious 2013 IPL season. The Mumbai skipper will face stern test in defending the team's title against arch-rivals this season.

Five key players from Rajasthan Royals:

Ajinkya Rahane: The 25-year-old youngster has been a prolific opening batsman for Rajasthan Royals over the years now. The right-hander was the highest run-scorer for his team with 560 runs in 16 matches last season. He has also scored am unbeaten century in the shortest format of the game.

James Faulkner: The 23-year-old Tasmanian has become an ntegral part of Rajasthan Royals in a relatively quicker span of time than one would have expected. A left-arm medium pacer and a right-hand batsman, Faulkner has got the right mix for being a successful T20 player. Faulkner was the second highest wicket-taker in the IPL last season with a tally of 28 scalps for Rajasthan Royals. Apart from his fiery bowling, Faulkner can also strike it big in the death overs which makes him a crucial batsmen down the middle-order for Royals.

Shane Watson: The 32-year-old 'Queensland tornado' is one of the most devastating and consistent performers in the shorter version of the game. The aggressive right-hander boasts of over 1000 runs alongside 36 wickets in T20 internationals. With his batting might and ability to pick up crucial wickets at regular intervals, Watto is one of the best all-rounders in the modern era of cricket. He was the highest run-scorer with 543 runs in 16 games for Rajasthan Royals last season. He'll be one of the crucial pieces of the puzzle for Rajasthan Royals in the tournament.

Unmukt Chand: The 20-year-old budding cricketer has proved his mettle in the past to confirm that he is ready to rumble with the big boys. The young right-hander failed to make a mark for Delhi last season but that shouldn't deter Team India's U-19 World Cup winning captain from making it count this year. With a change in team and a bit of luck, Unmukt should have ample amount of opportunities to showcase his talent in Royals' shirt this year.

Steve Smith: The 24-year-old Australian all-rounder was a run-machine for now-defunct Sahara Pune Warriors over the last two seasons. He was the second highest run-scorer for Pune with 362 runs in 15 matches in 2012 and boasts of over 500 runs alongside five wickets in 22 games in his IPL career so far. His all-round abilities were spotted by Rajasthan Royals who shelled out a whopping Rs 4 crore during the auctions to secure his services this year.

Teams(from):

Mumbai Indians: Michael Hussey, Lendl Simmons, Rohit Sharma(c), Ambati Rayudu, Kieron Pollard, Aditya Tare(wk), Harbhajan Singh, Pragyan Ojha, Jasprit Bumrah, Marchant de Lange, Shreyas Gopal, Josh Hazlewood, Chidhambaram Gautam, Sushant Marathe, Corey Anderson, Apoorv Wankhade, Krishmar Santokie, Ben Dunk, Pawan Suyal, Praveen Kumar

Rajasthan Royals: Shane Watson(c), Sanju Samson(wk), Ajinkya Rahane, James Faulkner, Stuart Binny, Steven Smith, Brad Hodge, Karun Nair, Unmukt Chand, Rajat Bhatia, Abhishek Nayar, Ben Cutting, Kevon Cooper, Rahul Tewatia, Dishant Yagnik, Ankush Bains, Iqbal Abdullah, Ankit Sharma, Pravin Tambe, Tim Southee, Dhawal Kulkarni, Kane Richardson, Deepak Hooda, Vikramjeet Malik, Amit Mishra
Corey Anderson: The Indian who brought Mumbai to a standstill!

Corey Anderson: The Indian who brought Mumbai to a standstill!

Mumbai Indians won the match against Rajasthan Royals by five wickets in a match at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Sunday. Match Statistics

Aditya Tare hit a six off his first ball paving the way for Mumbai Indians in to the playoff match. Despite a setback in the form of a run out (Ambati Rayudu who hit 30 off 10 balls), Mumbai needed four runs off the next ball to qualify for the playoff, and Tare hit a six off over the square leg to seal the team's position.

Earlier, Sanju Samson and Karun Nair conjured up responsible knocks under pressure as Rajasthan Royals overcame a slow start to post an imposing 189 for four against Mumbai Indians in their crucial IPL match, in Mumbai on Sunday.

Samson scored 74 off 47 balls while Nair took 27 balls for his 50-run knock as the two young batsmen shared a 100-run stand in 57 balls after early departure of Shane Watson.

Samson, who opened the innings instead of Ajinkya Rahane, hit three sixes and seven fours, while Nair's knock was studded with two sixes and seven fours.

Big-hitting Australians Brad Hodge (29 not out) and James Faulkner (23 off 12 balls) then joined hands in the last five overs to add 49 runs for the fourth wicket.

Royals were 59 for one at half-way mark and went on to score 130 runs in the last 10 overs.

Mumbai need to win the match inside 14.3 overs to edge out their rivals on better net run rate to qualify for the play-offs.

The tall Faulker swung Harbhajan Singh for successive sixes over mid wicket and a square cut four in the offie's final over, 17th of the innings, to take the score past 150.

Faulkner slammed one more six before holing out to Corey Anderson in the deep off Pollard while Hodge remained unbeaten at the other end.

Mumbai felt the absence of the injured Praveen Kumar and death-bowling expert Lasith Malinga. Main hope Harbhajan was carted for 43 runs for the wicket of Watson while the others too failed to stop the flow of runs.

Asked to bat first, the Royals were kept pegged back by some accurate bowling from Jasprit Bumrah who even bowled a maiden over to Watson.

Samson showed aggressive intent from the first ball and hit Corey Anderson for an on-driven four. He then hit Bumrah's full toss for another four and then slog swept Pragyan Ojha for a six. Watson, kept in check, finally hit a four off the first ball he received from Harbhajan but was caught brilliantly by Kieron Pollard, who ran in and dived to scoop the ball inches off the turf.

Royals sprang surprise by sending in Nair instead of Rahane. The newcomer struggled to get going on the slow-paced pitch initially before opening up.

Nair slammed his Karnataka Ranji Trophy teammate Shreyas Gopal for a six and two fours on the leg side in the 11th over to perk up the run-rate beyond the 7-run mark.

Ojha too was targeted by Nair after his second wicket partner Samson reached his 50 in 36 balls. The left arm slow bowler was hit for six and two fours, including off a switch hit, to help Royals cross the 100 mark in the 13th over.

When Harbhajan was brought back to stem the run flow, Nair struck him for a four and a pulled six to reach his 50 off just 26 balls with 7 fours and 2 sixes.

He left immediately afterwards, caught at short mid wicket and his partner Samson followed suit in the next over by mis-hitting leg spinner Shreyas to be caught.
KKR vs KXIP preview: Kings brace for tough Knights

KKR vs KXIP preview: Kings brace for tough Knights

It will be a battle to savour when Kolkata Knight Riders and Kings XI Punjab clash in Qualifier 1 at the Eden Gardens on Tuesday.

While the hosts are on a high after registering seven wins in a row, KXIP have been the most impressive team this season and deservedly topped the points table.

But as KKR skipper Gautam Gambhir said, it will be a new day and more importantly a big stage. While coming first and second in the group stage gives the two teams the cushion of having another crack at the final berth if they lose on Tuesday, they would look to grab a place in the final at the first attempt. But all plans could go for a toss as rain is in the air. Thundershowers on Monday afternoon meant neither team could train.

The forecast is similar for Tuesday as well. If there is no result on Tuesday, the teams will lock horns on Wednesday - the reserve day.

The Eden Gardens has been a fortress for Kolkata as they are yet to lose a match here this season and the local support has been amazing. Even on Monday, hundreds of people were seen braving the rain to queue up outside the Mohammedan Sporting ground to buy tickets for Tuesday's match.

While both the Orange Cap and Purple Cap in the to the KKR camp, courtesy Robin Uthappa and Sunil Narine, the team would be pleased with the way out-of-touch Yusuf Pathan showed a touch of his old self against SunRisers Hyderabad on Saturday.

With the Eden wicket having quite a bit of grass, the likes of Morne Morkel have also thrived. But KXIP can't be taken lightly and KKR know that well. Not only do they have the likes of Glenn Maxwell, David Miller, George Bailey and Manan Vohra to start with, even wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha seems to have turned a new leaf with the bat. And one can never discount the veteran Virender Sehwag.

The bowling unit might not other than Mitchell Johnson, but the likes of Sandeep Sharma and Akshar Patel have got noticed. Even senior campaigners like L. Balaji have pitched in.

While Gambhir doesn't believe too much in momentum, Bailey does. The fact that after losing a couple of matches in the middle of the season KXIP are back to winning ways, gives him confidence.

"I don't want to give away too much, but we would definitely like to repeat what we did against KXIP in the group stages," KKR coach Trevor Bayliss said. "While we had lost the first match, I feel we did very well against them in the second game. We have to be on our game and considering the kind of talent they have, we have to concentrate on doing our job well," he said.

Bayliss said players of Sehwag's calibre can turn any game on its head.

"He is still a very dangerous player. Maybe the consistency falls a bit with such players, but it doesn't mean they can't win matches singlehandedly. He has done well in different stages in the tournament and can be very destructive. We will look to get him early," he said.

Commenting on his team's dream run, Bayliss said he would still like to see the bowling improve.

"Apart from that, I can't see too many areas that we need to work on. We are at the top of our game and have peaked at the right time."

KXIP coach Sanjay Bangar said he is not too worried about KKR's seven-match winning streak. "Past records don't indicate anything. All the teams in the playoffs are here because they have done well. We have been doing well for a longer time," he said.

While the Eden crowd can be daunting for the opposition, Bangar is looking forward to the occasion. "Eden produces great cricket and the crowd will add to the atmosphere. We will revel in the conditions," he said.
IPL 7, KXIP vs KKR: Punjab vs Rajasthan, Qualifier 1

IPL 7, KXIP vs KKR: Punjab vs Rajasthan, Qualifier 1

Welcome to the coverage of the Indian Premier League 2014, Qualifier 1 between Kings XI Punjab and Kolkata Knight Riders from the Eden Gardens stadium in Kolkata. Full IPL Coverage | Scorecard

Kolkata Knight Riders defeated Kings XI Punjab by 28 runs at the Eden Gardens stadium. Kolkata win! They are through to the final. Great joy in the Kolkata camp. In front of their home crowd at the Eden too. The fans are dancing in the isles as one famous commie used to say. I guess, you already know how the final delivery panned out. Yadav has beaten Johnson with all sorts of deliveries this over, this one was the slower delivery, Johnson made room to work it to leg, missed and the ball looped on the bounce to the keeper. Once the over was called, the celebrations began in the Kolkata camp. So in a crunch game, Punjab fall short - this is the first time they have lost chasing this year; they had won 6 in a row chasing before today. They would happily swap one of those for today's win. But that's cricket and credit to Kolkata for strangling the Punjab power-hitters with great usage of their resources. The first 6-7 overs were all about handling the rain and other variables as one thought we could get a rain-shortened game. The D/L sheets were out in full force as the players kept checking it up regularly. Once the 5-over mark was completed, we had a game. Maxwell and Vohra - were big wickets and once they were snared, the spinners came into their own to derail the chase. Shakib in his three overs was the most difficult to get away as he hardly gave any pace on the ball. Chawla picked up wickets and his delivery to get rid of Miller was an absolute belter. The asking rate kept mounting and there was no way Punjab were winning as Narine's two overs at the end finished off the job.

With George Bailey(3) and Rishi Dhawan(1) at the crease, Kings XI Punjab are currently at 88/6 after 14 overs.

TWO RUNS off the over!!

Rishi Dhawan comes to the crease for Punjab.

13.3 overs: OUT!! Akshar Patel has been run-out by Piyush Chawla. George Bailey flicks it towards short fine leg and sets off for a quick single while Chawla gathers it quickly fires it back towards the wicket-keeper to catch him short at the crease. Akshar Patel departs after scoring two runs off two balls. Punjab IN TATTERS here!!

With George Bailey(3) and Akshar Patel(1) at the crease, Kings XI Punjab are currently at 86/5 after 13 overs.

SIX RUNS off the over!!

George Bailey comes to the crease for Punjab.

12.2 overs: That's OUT!! Piyush Chawla has bowled David Miller on a deceiving leg break. Miller goes on the backfoot looking to cut but the ball nips back in sharply to rattle the stumps. David Milleer departs after scoring eight runs off 12 balls. Punjab in a SPOT OF BOTHER now!!

With David Miller(6) and Akshar Patel(0) at the crease, Kings XI Punjab are currently at 80/4 after 12 overs.

THREE RUNS off the over!!

Akshar Patel comes to the crease for Punjab.

Morne Morkel gets his THIRD WICKET!!

11.6 overs: OUT!! Morne Morkel has got Wriddhiman Saha out caught at mid-off. Saha drives on the up and sends it straight into the hands of Umesh Yadav for a simple catch. Wriddhiman Saha departs after scoring 35 runs off 31 balls with two boundaries and two sixes.

With David Miller(4) and Wriddhiman Saha(34) at the crease, Kings XI Punjab are currently at 77/3 after 11 overs.

NINE RUNS off the over!!

10.3 overs: SIX!! Wriddhiman Saha bends down and smacks it deep into the stands over midwicket for the maximum. That was MUSCLED by Saha!!

9.1 overs: FOUR!! Wriddhiman Saha picks it from outside off and smacks it towards deep midwicket for a boundary. Punjab NEED MORE OF THOSE now!!

With David Miller(1) and Wriddhiman Saha(20) at the crease, Kings XI Punjab are currently at 60/3 after nine overs.

FIVE RUNS off the over!!

Piyush Chawla comes into the attack for Kolkata Knight Riders.

With David Miller(0) and Wriddhiman Saha(17) at the crease, Kings XI Punjab are currently at 55/3 after eight overs.
IPL 7, KKR vs KXIP: Key players, stats and preview of Qualifier 1

IPL 7, KKR vs KXIP: Key players, stats and preview of Qualifier 1

They might have finished their IPL 2014 campaign at the top, but Kings XI Punjab will be wary of the challenge that lies ahead when they take on Kolkata Knight Riders in Qualifier 1 at the Eden Gardens on Wednesday. Full IPL Coverage

The Stakes:

Both Kolkata and Punjab will be eager to secure their IPL 7 finals berth with a clinical win tomorrow. However, the losing team will have another shot to make the finals cut in the Eliminator match against the winner of Qualifier 2 between Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings.

Statistics:

Sunil Narine has picked up 20 or more wickets in three consecutive editions of the IPL. He picked up 24 wickets in 2012, 22 wickets in 2013 and 20 so far in 2014. Lasith Malinga is the only other bowler to have achieved this feat in 2011 (28 wickets), 2012 (22 wickets) and 2013 (20 wickets).

This will be the 100th T20 game for Manish Pandey.

Morne Morkel needs one more wicket to get to 150 wickets in T20s.

Robin Uthappa is the only player in the history of T20 cricket to score 40+ runs in nine consecutive matches.

Quotes:

"There is always that fear of getting hit for long sixes, but I mainly try to stick to my strength of bowling the arm-ball and the quicker one. I don't look to spin the ball or try different variations; I only concentrate on bowling a good arm-ball," Kings XI Punjab spinner Akshar Patel, on his bowling.

"We are going to have to be on our A game. They are a good team, a very good batting team and they could easily turn the game around, so we have to stay focused and concentrate on what we are doing," Kolkata Knight Riders' coach Trevor Bayliss said ahead of his side's clash with Punjab.

Kings XI Punjab:

Punjab, on the other hand, have been the team to beat for oppositions. Their sheer aggression with the bat has intimidated many bowlers and it will be a big test for Gambhir and his men come Tuesday. The fact that Manan Vohra is firing all guns at the top of the order, alongside Virender Sehwag, adds to the opposition captain's woes.

If one thought those two were a destructive combination, there is more to come in the form of Glenn Maxwell and David Miller. It is quite clear that the bowlers and the fielders will have to be on their toes to stop the best batting line-up of this IPL.

Punjab's Indian talent has not disappointed the team management in the bowling department. Akshar Patel has been very impressive and even when skipper George Bailey asks him to bowl in pressure situations, Patel has shown maturity and has delivered quality goods. The fact that he has not missed a single game this year tells more about the trust the captain has in him.

Sandeep Sharma lost his touch in the last few games but he has troubled many a batsman with his sharp swinging deliveries. He also tops the side's bowling charts with 17 wickets.

Kolkata Knight Riders:

Gautam Gambhir's men are on a roll with seven consecutive wins under their belt, including a stunning display against Hyderabad, which helped them pip Chennai and grab the second stop in the table. The fact that the Qualifier 1 was shifted out of Chennai has now given them an added advantage - they will be playing in familiar conditions and in front of an boisterous Kolkata crowd.

Robin Uthappa has grabbed eyeballs whenever Kolkata have taken the field of late. With nine consecutive 40+ scores, Uthappa is in fine form and is looking good for more. Deservingly, he is also the leading run-getter in this year's competition. The way he has scored these runs has forced many to be glued to their seats when he is batting in the middle.

Though the skipper has not made many runs in his last few games, he has had no problems in timing the ball. Shakib Al Hasan too has done well in the competition and plays a vital role with both bat and ball. Yusuf Pathan's stunning innings against Hyderabad not only silenced his critics but also helped Kolkata grab the crucial second place on the table, which now gives them an extra opportunity to make it to the final.

If you have Sunil Narine in your ranks you are normally considered to have a fine bowling line-up and the Kolkata attack is no different. He is also the leading wicket-taker in the tournament and is the trump card for Gambhir in crunch situations. The rest of the bowlers too have formed good partnerships with Narine to constitute a formidable bowling attack.

Key players to watch in the crucial tie:

Glenn Maxwell: The million-dollar man last season, Maxwell was snatched by Kings XI Punjab for a whopping Rs 6 crore this year. The 25-year-old is a terrific all-rounder to have in your side. He can bowl right-arm off-spin and bat anywhere in the middle-order. He shot to fame after smashing a 19-ball half-century in 2009-10 - the fastest fifty in Australia's domestic cricket. His most recent antics of 33-ball 74, the third fastest fifty in T20 internationals, shows his batting prowess. He will have to play a key role if Punjab intend to clinch their first IPL title this year.

Sunil Narine: The mystery spinner from West Indies, Sunil Narine, was been one of the most influential players for the KKR during their victorious IPL campaign in 2012. Narine was also the highest wicket-taker for KKR with 22 wickets in 16 matches last season. His exemplary performances also helped him in bagging the Player of the Tournament award in 2012. His ability to bowl tidy overs in pressure situations gives an edge to KKR's bowling department.

David Miller: The 24-year-old South African, aka 'Killer Miller' in IPL, is as explosive as they come in limited-overs cricket. After making a name for his power-hitting, Miller has turned into a gruesome strokeplayer in modern-day cricket. His ability to play a wide range of strokes, both off the front and backfoot has earned him quite a reputation in international cricket. Miller was also one of the most entertaining batsmen in the IPL last season. The young South African took the IPL by storm after scoring 418 runs with 28 fours and 24 sixes for Kings XI Punjab in 2013. The performance impressed his team owners to such an extent that he became one of the only two players to be retained by KXIP ahead of 2014 IPL auctions.

Gautam Gambhir: Indian opening batsman, Gautam Gambhir, was one of the most consistent performers for KKR last season. The skipper, while leading from the front, helped Kolkata to it's first-ever IPL title victory in 2012. The left-hander was also the highest run-scorer with 406 runs in 16 matches last season. Apart from being a devastating batsman, Gambhir is an active and responsible skipper on field.

Robin Uthappa: The 27-year-old explosive batsman was the top run-scorer for now-defunct Sahara Pune Warriors with 405 runs in 16 matches in 2012. He is an outstanding fielder, a reliable wicketkeeper and can even bowl slow medium pace. Following the termination of Pune Warriors in 2013, Uthappa was bought for a whopping Rs 5 crore by Kolkata Knight Riders during the IPL auctions this year. His availability in the team will provide the much-needed balance at the top-order for Kolkata.

Teams(from):

Kings XI Punjab: George Bailey(c), Mitchell Johnson, David Miller, Glenn Maxwell, Virender Sehwag, Shaun Marsh, Cheteshwar Pujara, Gurkeerat Singh, Manan Vohra, Mandeep Singh, Rishi Dhawan, Thisara Perera, Akshar Patel, Karanveer Singh, Wriddhiman Saha(wk), Murali Kartik, Shivam Sharma, Beuran Hendricks, Lakshmipathy Balaji, Sandeep Sharma, Parvinder Awana, Anureet Singh, Shardul Thakur

Kolkata Knight Riders: Gautam Gambhir(c), Robin Uthappa(wk), Manish Pandey, Yusuf Pathan, Shakib Al Hasan, Ryan ten Doeschate, Suryakumar Yadav, Morne Morkel, Umesh Yadav, Sunil Narine, Vinay Kumar, Piyush Chawla, Jacques Kallis, Manvinder Bisla, Kuldeep Yadav, Veer Pratap Singh, Chris Lynn, Andre Russell, Sayan Mondal, Pat Cummins, Debabrata Das