Prime News, National Sport, Mumbai/Mohali, May 6:- Mumbai Indians (MI) finished atop the VIVO Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019 points table with a crushing nine-wicket win against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in its final league fixture and set up a mouthwatering Qualifier 1 against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) at the M A Chidambaram Stadium, where the MI franchise hasn’t lost since 2011. Mumbai is one of only two franchises – the other is Rajasthan Royals (RR) which have gone on to lift the trophy after finishing first in the league stage.
Chasing 134 against KKR, MI won with 23 balls to spare, thereby improving its already-healthy net run-rate (+0.32) to +0.42 and moving up to first place.
Earlier, K L Rahul’s scintillating 36-ball-71 paved the way for a consolation six-wicket victory for Kings XI Punjab at Mohali in Punjab on Sunday, but not before CSK ensured a top-two finish with chance to play the first IPL Qualifier at their happy hunting home ground Chepauk.
CSK got off to a good start in this game with both Suresh Raina and Faf Du Plessis scoring 50s, but couldn’t push on to post an imposing total that plays the opposition out on a good batting wicket like this. With nothing to lose in the final game of the season, Rahul, Chris Gayle (28 off 28 balls) and Nicholas Pooran (36 off 22 balls) were the key contributors in KXIP’s successful chase of 171 in in 18 overs.
Delhi Capitals (DC), which has the same number of points as MI and CSK but a inferior net run rate, finished third and will play the Eliminator against SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH). SRH sneaked through in fourth place with just 12 points, thanks to KKR’s defeat to MI in the final league fixture of IPL 2019.
The first Qualifier will be played in Chennai on Tuesday (May 7), before the Eliminator and Qualifier 2 are played on May 8 and 10. The winner of Qualifier 1 will reach the final, while the loser will play the winner of the Eliminator in Qualifier 2. The winner of Qualifier 2 will progress to the final, which is scheduled to be held on May 12 at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad. The Eliminator and second Qualifier are scheduled to be played at the Dr Y S Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium in Visakhapatnam. (Inputs: Agencies, NGB)