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IPL: MI, KKR lock horns at Barabati tonight


Odisha Sun Times News Bureau
Cuttack, May 14:

The Barabati Stadium at Cuttack in Odisha is all set to host the 40th match of the 7th Indian Premiere League (IPL) tournament between Mumbai Indians (MI) and Kolkata Knight Riders tonight.

The curators of Barabati pitch believe it would help the fast bowlers.

They say, there is a bit of grass on the pitch that should help the quickies, while the spinners will get very little assistance.MI vs KKR

However, former Odisha cricketer and Ranji Trophy player Pawan Agrawal feels the spinners would call the shots in this match.

While KKR have brilliant spinners like Sunil Narine and Piyush Chawla who could turn out to be a deadly duo, the MI have Harbhajan Singh and the local lad Pragyan Ojha in their ranks.

The spectators, however, would love to see some fireworks and a high scoring match like the one they enjoyed on May 7 when the Kings XI Punjab run machines Maxwell and Miller set the stadium on fire by a merciless thrashing of Chennai Super Kings bowlers.

For the Mumbai Indians it is a very crucial match. A defeat at Barabati could leave them needing to win all their remaining matches, The Knight Riders, on the other hand, who humbled the powerful KXIP by an impressive 9 wicket win here, would be hoping a repeat performance against MI.

While the KKR are fourth on the table with four wins in nine games, the Mumbai Indians are in the seventh position with just three wins out of nine matches.

Asked whether the MI captain Rohit Sharma would consider Ojha for the match, former Odisha Ranji Trophy player Pavan Agrawal said the local lad should be in the playing eleven for  he has played several matches in this stadium and knows the pitch too well.

“Since the pitch is dry and hard, the crowd would witness another high scoring match which would be between 180 and 200,” Agrawal said.

But will it be a packed stadium tonight ?

Sanjib Dutta, joint secretary of Odisha Cricket Association (OCA) said though the sale of tickets at the stadium counter  in the morning hours was not quite encouraging due to intense heat and humidity, it could pick up in the afternoon hours.

Meanwhile, both the teams had an hour-long practice at the nets in the stadium this morning.