Twice in the last six Indian Premier League editions have Mumbai Indians and Sunrisers Hyderabad locked horns in the final game of the league stage.

Five-time champion Mumbai will meet the out of sorts Sunrisers in Abu Dhabi on Friday.

It is a must-win match for Mumbai to make yet another miraculous entry into the final. Rohit Sharma will hope his unit strikes form against an unpredictable Sunrisers, who snatched a four-run victory from Royal Challengers Bangalore on Wednesday.

In 2015, the last league game between these two teams was a virtual quarterfinal, with the winner set to enter the Playoffs. And Sunrisers wilted under the pressure as MI entered the Playoffs in style.

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In 2020, in an inconsequential clash, David Warner and Wriddhiman Saha stitched together an unbroken 151-run opening partnership to help Sunrisers end a largely forgettable campaign on a winning note.

This time around, Sunrisers have nothing to gain except for a few individuals who may have a point to prove for retention. For Mumbai, the outcome of its topsy-turvy campaign this year will possibly rely on this clash.

Mumbai’s wobbly middle-order will have to fire, considering the enormous task in front of it after Kolkata Knight Riders beat Rajasthan Royals by 86 runs on Thursday. Mumbai, if it bats first, will need to win by 171 runs to qualify for the playoffs. If it bats second, then the task is nigh impossible.

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