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Punjab play for pride against Mumbai

cricket Updated: Apr 08, 2010 13:21 IST

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With only pride to play for from here on, the bruised and battered Kings XI Punjab would be banking on home advantage when they take on table-toppers Mumbai Indians in an Indian Premier League match in Mohali on Friday.

With no hopes of making it to the semifinals, the outcome of the tie is inconsequential for Kumar Sangakkara-led Punjab, which has managed just two victories from 10 outings, but Tendulkar's men would like to have another win under their belt to stamp their authority at the top.

Mumbai are currently at the top with 14 points having won seven of their nine games and are virtually assured of a semi-final berth.

Mumbai's only reversals came against Royal Challengers Bangalore and Chennai Super Kings in a match where the team's skipper Sachin Tendulkar had to retire because of heat and exhaustion.

With evening temperatures at Mohali settling around 18-20 degree Celsius these days and humidity levels quite low, Tendulkar is surely going to enjoy the perfect batting conditions at the PCA stadium.

The master batsman is the second highest run getter in the tournament having made 394 runs from nine matches.

"He is a champion player. We missed him when he had to retire the other day (Tuesday's match). He is in such terrific form…By the grace of God, the team as a whole is playing good cricket and hope our good run continues," Mumbai off-spinner Harbhajan Singh told PTI after the team's arrival here.

Harbhajan along with teammate Zaheer Khan are among the top five wicket takers in the tournament, having scalped 11 wickets each.

Tendulkar has also exuded confidence that the team would continue its good show, saying, "We hope to continue the winning momentum."

Besides these players, Mumbai have also been bolstered by the presence of West Indian Kieron Pollard, the most expensive buy in the IPL-III.

Their bowling too looks solid with Lasith Malinga and all-rounder Dwayne Bravo leading the attack.

Meanwhile, there has been no end to the miseries of the Punjab, who slumped to a nine-wicket loss at the hands of Rajasthan Royals in Jaipur last night despite chasing a modest total.