Lendl-Simmons---Mumbai-Indians---Chennai-Super-Kings-1
A lot rides on Lendl Simmons’ cracking form to set the stage alight for Mumbai Indians to progress in the tournament © Getty Images

By Rajarshi Majumdar

Sep 15, 2014

Mumbai Indians (MI) will take on the Northern Knights (NK) in the final game of the Champions League Twenty20 (CLT20) qualifiers on Tuesday. It is a must win game for MI and on the other hand the Knights have already qualified for the main stage of the tournament.

Lendl Simmons and Michael Hussey helped MI to register their first win of the qualifiers against the Southern Express (SE). These two batsmen put on a solid opening partnership of 139 runs from just 88 balls as MI beat SE comprehensively by nine wickets. MI were sloppy on the field right from the beginning of this tournament. Too many runs slipped through their fielders and catches were also dropped in the first two matches. Fielding will definitely be an area of concern for their skipper Kieron Pollard. Death bowling has also been a serious issue for them as Lasith Malinga was not on song. The other pacers too struggled to bowl the right line and length in the slog overs. The batting department looked more balanced in the second game unlike the first match.

On the other hand, the NK defeated the Lahore Lions (LL) by 72 runs, who came in as favourites but the former prevailed with ease. A fiery spell from both the opening seamers, Trent Boult and Tim Southee, left the Lions gasping. They picked up five wickets in the first five overs by giving away just 20 runs. The Knights have been outstanding on the field. Southee’s effort should be the benchmark as he took a miraculous catch in the outfield during their game against Lahore Lions. Kane Williamson and Daniel Flynn are leading from the front in the batting department. The Knights came into play the qualifiers as underdogs but they were the first team to qualify for the main stage.

Both the teams have enough ammunition to showcase a classic T20 encounter. Mumbai will be desperate to win this game and seal a berth in the main stage and the Knights will look to carry on with the momentum that they have gained so far.

Squads:

Mumbai Indians:

Harbhajan Singh, Ambati Rayudu, Pragyan Ojha, Praveen Kumar, Aditya Tare (wk), Jalaj Saxena, Jasprit Bumrah, Shreyas Gopal, Michael Hussey, Kieron Pollard (c), Corey Anderson, Lasith Malinga, Marchant de Lange, Lendl Simmons.

Northern Knights:

Daniel Flynn (c), Graeme Aldridge, Jono Boult, Trent Boult, Anton Devcich, DJ Harris, Scott Kuggeleijn, Daryl Mitchell, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Scott Styris, BJ Watling†, Kane Williamson, Brad Wilson

Timings: 20:00 IST | 14:30 GMT

Complete coverage of Champions League T20 (CLT20) 2014 here

(Rajarshi Majumdar is a reporter at CricketCountry. He played cricket for all age levels under the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) for over 12 years. Apart from cricket he is an avid follower of football, supports Manchester United and a foodie at heart.)