Nitish Rana scored his fifty in 28 balls against Gujarat Lions © AFP
Nitish Rana scored his fifty in 28 balls against Gujarat Lions © AFP

Mumbai Indians (MI) had tough time after their opening pair was dismissed, Nitish Rana entered and started his campaign right off the mark. He secured his maiden fifty in IPL with stylish boundary in 15th over. Earlier, GL won toss and elect to field first. Rohit Sharma and Martin Guptill opened the innings for their side. Rohit gave a flying start for MI with 4 fours and 2 sixes. Rohit could have been caught with chances of lbw but was saved as umpire denied the lbw appeal made during Dhawal Kulkarni’s first over. Until he charged for another one and was caught unfortunately at by Shadab Jakati for 30, this time Kulkarni got lucky. Very soon, Guptill was gone as well with Dwayne Smith coming into attack in 5th over. Live Cricket Scorecard: Gujarat Lions vs Mumbai Indians, IPL 2016, Match 54 at Kanpur

It was icing on the cake with third wicket of Krunal Pandya, the hard hitter who can change the scenario of the game. MI made just a single change to their side, while GL kept the same team that proved lucky for them in the previous outing against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR).
In the previous contests between these two teams, GL outplayed MI by 3 wickets, courtesy Aaron Finch’s match-winning half-century in crunch situation. Despite boasting of T20 superstars, both teams have been blowing hot and cold and have only one chance to make it to the penultimate stage of this cash-rich domestic spectacle.

While GL have 16 points under their belt, MI have 14 points with one match to go. If GL beat MI, they are undoubtedly through to the playoffs. If they lose, they will have same points as MI and hope RCB and KKR lose their remaining contest, given their unimpressive net run-rate of -0.479. MI, on the other hand, will have to win by a huge margin, as they are on the same page with GL (considering the net run-rate, yet again).