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Mumbai Indians take on Rajasthan Royals in crucial encounter

Still in with a chance to make the playoffs, title-holders Mumbai Indians (MI) will take on former champions Rajasthan Royals (RR) in what would be a virtual knock-out game to make the final four of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2014.

The rival teams will go into the game after knowing whether the third team still in the running to nail the fourth and last spot in the four-team playoff, Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), would be standing or have fallen by the wayside after their last round robin game against qualifiers Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR).

Rajasthan are the front-runners to make the knockout stage with 14 points in their kitty and need to just defeat Mumbai to sail through. But it would be difficult task in the Mumbai’s fortress which has been breached just once by Chennai Super Kings going back to last season.

Rajasthan, who were beaten by table-toppers Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) at Mohali, have a better net run-rate of +.247.

Mumbai, on 12 points, seem to be on a roll after convincing back to back wins over Kings XI Punjab on May 21 and Delhi Daredevils. They have a Net Run Rate of -.086 and would not only have to win but do it with a handsome margin to make the grade.

Mumbai produced some good performances after the IPL switched back to India following the first phase in the UAE where Rohit Sharma and his men tasted five defeats in a row.

The team has shown character and determination to bounce back from this dismal beginning, a point noted by their veteran Australian opener Michael Hussey after the win over the bottom-placed Daredevils.


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