The 2015 IPL T20 cricket playoffs get underway Tuesday with what promises to be a thunderous confrontation that will stream live between table-toppers the Gujarat Lions and heavy hitting Royal Challengers Bangalore in the qualifying match, with the winner advancing straight to the Indian Premier League Season Nine Final on Sunday.
Tonight Royal Challengers Bangalore will face Gujarat Lions at qualifire 1. The winer will entry directly to final. pic.twitter.com/AqXF28dwvh
— CRICKET BD (@cricket_bd_com) May 24, 2016
Royal Challengers not only qualified for the four-team playoff tournament by defeating Delhi Daredevils by six wickets on Sunday, they also bumped Sunrisers Hyderabad out of second place down to third on the strength of the IPL’s best bet run rate — an impressive +0.932.
At +0.245, Sunrisers were one of three other IPL teams with a positive net run rate. Kolkata Knight Riders also finished in the plus column at +0.106. Rising Pune Supergiants posted a positive rate of +0.015, but won only five games to finish one place off the bottom.
Gujarat Lions, in their first IPL season, fought to a first place finish as the only team to win nine of their 14 games for 18 points. Banglaore, along with Hyderabad and fourth-place Kolkata each ended up at eight wins, six losses and 16 points with only net run rate separating them.
Oddly enough, Gujarat posted the second-lowest net run rate in the 2016 IPL, at -0.374.
Preview: IPL 2016 Qualifier 1: Royal Challengers Bangalore Vs Gujarat Lions: Bengaluru, May 23:… https://t.co/FjPJN0fVQe Gujarat Times
— Gujarat Times (@gujarattimes) May 23, 2016
Royal Challengers Bangalore feature a lineup with three of the world’s best T20 batsmen in India’s Virat Kohli, Chris Gayle of the West Indies and South Africa international A.B. de Villiers, so it was no surprise that they would lead the league in net run rate.
Royal Challengers Bangalore and Gujarat Lions met twice in the 2016 IPL group stage, with the teams splitting the two matches. Watch highlights of the first meeting, which Lions won by six wickets on April 24, in the video below.
Banglaore got their revenge with a whopping 144-run victory over Gujarat on May 14 — the most lopsided win in the IPL this season.
To find out how to watch a live stream of the first 2016 IPL T20 cricket playoff match, see the streaming links at the bottom of this article. The match is scheduled to get underway at 8 p.m. India Standard Time at M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru, Karnataka, India, on Tuesday, May 24.
For fans in the United States, the live stream starts at 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time, 7:30 a.m. Pacific.
GL vs RCB Prediction: Who will win the match between Gujarat Lions and Royal Challengers Bangalore, IPL 2016,… https://t.co/v9ptXihWde
— Suresh Raina (@SKRainaICT) May 24, 2016
Gujarat Lions will hope to exploit a suspect Royal Challengers bowling attack with a pair of their own heavy hitters in former New Zealand Captain Brendon McCullum and former Australia T20 Captain Aaron Finch.
The Lions have also performed well under pressure in the 2016 IPL competition, with three of their nine victories coming on the final ball of the respective matches. They also won one other game on the final over, meaning that nearly half of their victories came from a position where the game could just has easily been lost.
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The India-based site CricHD will stream the first 2016 IPL playoff showdown between first-place Gujarat Lions and second place Royal Challengers Bangalore live online at this link. But viewers should be aware that the site carries large amounts of both pop-up and embedded ads that could cause browser crashes and other online slowdowns.
For the most reliable live online stream of the Gujarat Lions Vs. Royal Challengers Bangalore 2016 IPL playoff qualifying match from M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru, Karnataka, India, cricket fans can go to this link to subscribe to and watch all Indian Premier League playoff matches for $14.99 via ESPN Cricket Pass. The one-time price also includes unlimited on-demand replays of all Indian Premier League Season Nine matches.
Viewers in India can find the Gujarat Lions Vs. Royal Challengers Bangalore match live stream via the Star Sports site at this link — while Cricket Gateway also carries the entire 2016 IPL playoffs in 155 countries outside of the United States, India, and Europe.
[Featured Photo via Board of Control for Cricket In India]