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Tuesday, 23 October, 2018

Mumbai Indians batsmen pose early threat

Defending champions desperate to improve against Sunrisers Hyderabad

West Indies opener Evin Lewis could cut loose for Mumbai
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Mumbai Indians v Sunrisers Hyderabad
Sky Sports Cricket, 3.30pm Tuesday

Mumbai Indians won the final of last season’s Indian Premier League by one run but their knack of closing out tight games seems to have deserted them this term.

The defending champions have ground to make up if they are to reach the playoffs, having lost four of their first five matches in frustrating circumstances for skipper Rohit Sharma.

They failed to defend a target of 166 in their opening game, despite reducing Chennai to 118-8 in the 17th over and their death bowling let them down again in Sunday’s clash with Rajasthan.

Royals tailender Krishnappa Gowtham smashed 33 off 11 balls to inflict a three-wicket defeat on Mumbai, who are bidding to return to winning ways against Hyderabad at the Wankhede Stadium.

The pair have already met in this season’s IPL with Mumbai, almost inevitably, losing in agonising fashion.

After a substandard batting display, the Indians fought back superbly as the Sunrisers collapsed from 62-0 to 137-9.

However, a boundary from the final ball of the 20th over, struck by number 11 Billy Stanlake, condemned Mumbai to a one-wicket defeat.

Mumbai’s batsmen have struggled to finish their innings strongly this season – they were on track for at least 200 against Rajasthan last time out before slumping to 167-7.

Their top three are all in good nick with healthy strike-rates for Suryakumar Yadav (140 runs per 100 balls), Ishan Kishan (145) and Evin Lewis (158) so backing Mumbai to outscore Hyderabad in the first six overs looks the bet.

Shikhar Dhawan remains an injury doubt for the Sunrisers and in his absence they were reduced to 22-3 early on in their defeat to Chennai on Sunday.

Recommendation
Mumbai to have higher score in first six overs
2pts 4-5 general


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The pair have already met in this season’s IPL with Mumbai, almost inevitably, losing in agonising fashion
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