Mumbai Indians to play RCB with eye on play-off spot

Mumbai: Mumbai Indians will host Royal Challengers Bangalore on Wednesday at the Wankhede Stadium for the first time in this year's Indian Premier League (IPL) with both teams vying to secure a play-off berth.

A star-studded Bangalore team has failed to fire, losing five out of 11 matches with one game against the Chennai Super Kings being washed out.

South African AB de Villiers saved his team further blushes as his heroics down the order gave Bangalore a five-wicket win over Deccan Chagers in their last match.

Mumbai, on the other hand, have had a topsy-turvy season. They are in third position in the table but have had some nervy finishes to their games which could have gone either way.

Dwayne Smith, playing his first game this season, came to Mumbai's rescue in their previous match against defending champions Super Kings. Requiring 14 runs of the last three balls, the West Indian smashed Ben Hifenhaus for a six and two fours to give his team a two-wicket win and third in a row.

RCB, who are in fifth position, will leapfrog Super Kings in fourth place if they beat Mumbai, while the hosts will remain third even if they win but will inch closer to the top two.

Chris Gayle has been Bangalore's most prolific batsman with 433 runs and fourth position in the top run getters list. However, de Villiers with 292 runs has been the hero for them in the tournament. The South African one-day captain, on his own, has won RCB two matches from improbable situations.

For Mumbai, Rohit Sharma has been the man to watch with the bat with 293 runs in the tournament. On the bowling front, the home team will once again rely on pacer Lasith Malinga to do the damage as captain Harbhajan Singh has had a torrid time claiming just five wickets in 11 games. (IANS)