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Mumbai hot favourites against Kings XI Punjab

Mumbai hot favourites against Kings XI Punjab
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Buoyant after a morale-lifting win over hotshots Royal Challengers Bangalore, Mumbai Indians will start favourites against Kings XI Punjab in anIPL clash at the Wankhede Stadium on Monday.

Mumbai outclassed RCB by 58 runs last night to score their second straight win after two successive losses and got their campaign back on track ahead of their ninth game. With 10 points in their kitty at the halfway stage, Mumbai are fourth following their third consecutive victory at home, which they have turned into an impregnable fortress.

They will remain in that position going into the contest against the struggling KXIP irrespective of today’s two games elsewhere. For the second straight game yesterday, captain Ricky Ponting dropped himself from the playing XI of Mumbai and stand-in skipper Rohit Sharma led his team to a second win. Sharma had guided it past defending champions Kolkata Knight Riders in the previous away game. Things seem to be falling into place for MI once the out-of-form Ponting has taken the decision to sit out and allowed talented West Indian all-rounder Dwayne Smith to take his place in the team as well as at the top of the batting order.

Smith has scored two fifties in the four games he has played so far and also delivered with the ball by taking two wickets in yesterday’s comprehensive win over RCB that avenged their first-leg defeat in Bangalore in style. The batting has a settled look now and delivered big time in the three home games by rattling up huge scores of 209/5 against Delhi Daredevils, 194/7 and 183 /3 against Pune Warriors.
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