Ambati Rayudu bidding to extend glorious runscoring form
Youngster Markande a big threat with the ball
Chennai v Mumbai
Sky Sports Cricket, 3.30pm Saturday
Mumbai Indians won the 2017 IPL while Chennai Super Kings were completing their two-year ban for corruption but the rival franchises’ fortunes have changed dramatically this season.
The reintegrated Super Kings have soared to the top of the table thanks to five wins in six games, starting with a remarkable heist against Mumbai in the opening match of the season.
Dwayne Bravo’s 30-ball 68 inflicted a shock one-wicket loss on the Indians, setting the tone for a frustrating title defence.
Mumbai supporters will be scratching their heads over how their side have lost five out of six and they blew yet another strong position last time out when they were bowled out for 87, chasing just 119 to beat Hyderabad.
They are desperate to stop the rot on the short trip to Pune, venue for the Super Kings’ home fixtures because of security issues in Chennai.
Mumbai are 5-4 to upset their hosts but two of this season’s surprise successes merit support in the individual markets.
Mayank Markande, the 20-year-old Mumbai leg spinner, took 3-23 on his IPL debut against Chennai and followed up with 4-23 in another one-wicket defeat to Hyderabad.
His three overs in the reverse fixture against the Sunrisers on Monday yielded figures of 2-15 and the youngster could be a threat in Pune.
One of his victims in the first game of the campaign was Chennai’s Ambati Rayudu for 22 but the experienced batsman has struck a rich vein of form since that dismissal.
Rayudu scored 39 against Kolkata, 49 against Kings XI Punjab and 12 against Rajasthan before cracking 79 off just 34 balls in the win over Hyderabad.
There was more of the same when he was promoted to open in Bangalore, smashing eight sixes in an innings of 82 as the Super Kings chased down 206.
That game featured 33 sixes – an IPL record – and Coral go 5-6 about 15 or more maximums being struck at Chennai’s new base.
This season’s only match at the Maharashtra CA Stadium produced just nine sixes, however – six of them hit by Chennai opener Shane Watson.
M Markande top Mumbai wicket-taker
1pt 7-2 general
A Rayudu top Chennai runscorer
1pt 7-2 Betfair
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