Cricket Indian Premier League Prediction
Gujarat Titans vs Mumbai Indians - Match Preview
🏏 26 May 2023 - 14:00 GMT +0
The world’s largest cricket venue, Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, will play host to the final two matches of the 2023 Indian Premier League (IPL). In this ‘Qualifier 2’ match between league table-toppers Gujarat Titans and fourth-placed Mumbai Indians, the winner will advance to Sunday’s grand finale against MS Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings (CSK). This mammoth coliseum is suitably fitting for the climax of what has arguably been the most unforgettable edition of this great competition yet.
The Titans have home advantage - if you can call it that - after they won just four of their seven league games in Ahmedabad this season. They will need every ounce of help they can get from an adoring crowd after putting in a lacklustre performance in the first qualifier against CSK on Monday. Having comfortably reached the play-offs after finishing three clear points (W10 L4) over nearest rivals Chennai, and going into Monday’s match on the back of successive wins over Sunrisers Hyderabad (34 runs) and Royal Challengers Bangalore (six wickets), they will be grateful that winning the league granted them a second bite of the cherry.
An excellent spell of four overs from Ravindra Jadeja (2/18) and a brace of wickets from fellow spinner Mahesh Theekshana (2/28) helped restrict CSK to a par of 172/7. In their chase, an all-but-run a ball 42 from their talisman batter Shubman Gill and a hard-hitting 30-run cameo from number eight Rashid Khan spared their blushes as they were bowled out for 157, the first time in the IPL that they had lost all ten wickets.
Having had such a fantastic league campaign, the Titans have generally been excellent in both disciplines. However, one area for improvement that would be appreciably helpful in their of back-to-back championship wins, is for their batters to increase the number of sixes they are currently hitting. Despite boasting names like David Miller and Rashid Khan in their middle and lower order, the Titans averaged just 6.80 each match. Only the two bottom sides, Sunrisers and Capitals, accrued fewer.
Mark Boucher’s Mumbai Indians are peaking just at the right time and are looking to become the first team in IPL history to lift the trophy after finishing fourth. They come into this match having eliminated the Lucknow Super Giants on Wednesday by a huge 81 runs. That victory was their fourth of their last five games, and on this occasion, they have the lesser-known seamer Akash Madhwal to thank for getting them through to the last four for the ninth time.
41 off 23 balls from top scorer Cameron Green and double figures from six of the other Mumbai batters to take to the crease helped them accumulate 182/8 off their allotted 20 overs. Along with three run-outs, Madhwal sliced through the LSG middle and lower order like a knife through butter to finish with the incredible figures of (3.3-0-5-5), the best return by an Indian bowler in IPL history and the best in a playoff game by anyone!
Madhwal was magnanimous in acknowledging that the conditions were conducive to his type of bowling, stating in a recent press interview that “the wicket at the Chepauk was good, the ball was not gripping but skidding. I am a swing/sling bowler and I pitched my deliveries in hard lengths aiming for wickets.” He indeed executed that to perfection!
In contrast with the Titans. Mumbai has been excellent this season with the bat in hand. It is in the bowling discipline that they have had their struggles. In the league matches, their attack conceded on average 181 runs per match at a rate of 9.40rpo, with only the Punjab Kings having worse numbers in those two stats respectively. But everyone should know by now to never write off the record-setting five-time champions!
⚡ Players to watch: The naturally gifted Titans opener Shubman Gill is eight runs away from snatching the Orange Cap from Bangalore captain Faf du Plessis. He has notched up 722 runs at an average of 55.84, having made two centuries and four half-centuries so far. Gill has produced Gujarat’s top score in four of their last five innings.
Meanwhile, Mumbai’s ageless spin wizard Piyush Chawla is having his best-ever campaign from the 15 seasons he has played in, having taken 21 wickets at 21.43 apiece whilst conceding just 7.76rpo.
📋 Stat attack: The average first innings score at the Narendra Modi Stadium this year is 187, whilst the average powerplay score is 49 runs.
- Mumbai batted second in eight of their last 11 victories, whilst Gujarat did so in four of their last 13.
- The Titans have won five of the seven home matches in which they lost the toss.
- Mumbai has won ten of their 15 games since the start of 2019 when starting as outsiders with the money men!
- Mohammed Shami returned Gujarat’s best bowling figures (wickets followed by economy rate) in five of their last 11 matches.
- Piyush Chawla bowled six balls to Vijay Shankar in this IPL for two wickets and five runs conceded.
- Rashid Khan has also dismissed Ishan Kishan twice this year, conceding two runs from eight balls. Prior to 2023, he had not taken Kishan’s wicket once from 56 deliveries.
- Rohit Sharma has been dismissed four times from 26 balls bowled by Rashid Khan at an average of 7.25.
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