Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) will get little time to celebrate their precious win in the Indian Premier League (IPL) Eliminator , achieved early on Thursday morning after rain played havoc with their match with Sunrisers Hyderabad. They will just have time to catch some sleep and then prepare for the next big one - the Qualifier 2, against old nemesis Mumbai Indians (MI). The one team that always seems to have a position of ascendancy against the Kolkata team, as is proved by the 15-5 win-loss record in Mumbai's favour.
MI too won't be too pleased that they are playing the Qualifier 2. Having finished on top of the table after the league stage, MI would have hoped to make it straight into the final, giving them vital days of rest while their opponents scrambled for the other final slot.
However, as it turned out, MI lost to Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) in Qualifier 1 - the third time the Pune side beat them in IPL 10 - and now find themselves in a dodgy match with a reinvigorated if physically tired KKR, not to mention the Bengaluru weather.
MI have historically always been one-up on KKR. In fact MI had pulled off their first win of IPL 10 against KKR at the Wankhede Stadium last month when they beat them by four wickets with just one ball to spare.
Needing 60 runs off last 24 balls, Hardik Pandya had finished the job in dramatic fashion, smashing 29 off 11 balls.
Mumbai once again got the better of KKR when they handed them a nine-run defeat in their last league match at Eden Gardens.
But with the rain being a factor, truncated matches can turn in any direction.
Both MI and KKR have won the IPL trophy twice in the last nine editions and a win will take them to the final against Rising Pune Supergiant to be played in Hyderabad on Sunday.
Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma (capt), Lendl Simmons, Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell McClenaghan, Nitish Rana, Parthiv Patel, Saurabh Tiwary, Shreyas Gopal, Tim Southee, Lasith Malinga, Krunal Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Ambati Rayudu, Asela Gunaratne, Harbhajan Singh, Hardik Pandya, Jagdish Suchith, Jasprit Bumrah, Jos Buttler, Karn Sharma, Vinay Kumar.
Kolkata Knight Riders: Gautam Gambhir (capt), Darren Bravo, Trent Boult, Piyush Chawla, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Colin de Grandhomme, Rishi Dhawan, Sayan Ghosh, Shakib-Al Hasan, Sheldon Jackson, Ishank Jaggi, Kuldeep Yadav, Chris Woakes, Chris Lynn, Sunil Narine, Manish Pandey, Yusuf Pathan, Ankit Rajpoot, Suryakumar Yadav, Robin Uthappa, Umesh Yadav.
(With PTI inputs)