Knights look to ride  the momentum wave

Kolkata will look to consolidate their position in top-four when they take on an erratic Mumbai Indians side in Cuttack today

Cuttack: High on confidence after beating table-toppers Kings XI Punjab in their previous game, Kolkata Knight Riders will look to continue the winning momentum when they take on erratic defending champions Mumbai Indians in their Indian Premier League match today.

The last time the two sides faced off in the tournament opener in the United Arab Emirates, the Knight Riders came out triumphant.The Kolkata outfit, though, has been struggling to find its feet in the ongoing tournament, but back-to-back victories, especially a win against a strong Punjab side at this very venue, must have done its confidence a world of good. Come today’s match, KKR, who are placed fourth in the points table with four wins and five loses in nine games, would certainly be keen to go all out for a victory and brighten their chances of making the play-off stage.

Kolkata’s batting has clicked against both Delhi Daredevils and KXIP, with underfire skipper Gautam Gambhir leading from the front striking a couple of superb half-centuries to guide the team to victory.Robin Uthappa and Manish Pandey have also made significant contributions in the last two games and would be looking to continue with their exploits.

Meanwhile, the defending champions, with just three victories from nine games so far, are well aware that they would have to win all their remaining matches if they want a berth in the play-offs.They will take inspiration from the seven-wicket win over Sunrisers Hyderabad in Hyderabad last night.

Despite most of their batsmen being among runs, Mumbai have faltered a little too often in this tournament so far. Skipper Rohit Sharma and West Indian powerhouse Kieron Pollard have been successful in the current season. Even Ambati Rayudu have contributed with runs.

Last night, Rayudu (68) along with Lendl Simmons (68) comfortably chased down a 158-run target against the Sunrisers. Mumbai Opener Chidambaram Gautam has also pulled off a few surprises with his big hits.However, other key batsmen in the ranks — Michael Hussey and Corey Anderson — are yet to click. And Mumbai can only hope that they would rise to the occasion today.

Simmons wants to hit 50 in each game

Hyderabad: In a short span of two games, Mumbai Indians’ Lendl Simmons has made an impression and the opening batsman says he wants to hit a fifty in every outing to enhance his team’s chances of reaching the IPL play-offs. “As a team, we would want to win all the games and qualify for the playoffs. I want to do my part for the team by giving a good start and scoring with a good strike-rate. I want to score a half-century in every game and get my team off to a flier at the top of the innings,” said Simmons.

Simmons said his plan was to launch an all-out attack from the word go in the upcoming matches. “I am the aggressor and I like to take the attack to the bowlers. That is how I see my role. In the games to come, I will try and make sure I attack right from the beginning,” he said. Simmons, who plays at different positions for the West Indies, said he was enjoying his role as an opening batsman for Mumbai Indians.

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