About the Match
Gujarat Lions and the Royal Challengers Bangalore will play the first qualifier of the Indian Premier League playoffs. The Royal Challengers will host the fixture at the Chinnaswamy stadium in Bangalore.
Although the Lions of Gujarat have finished top of the chart on the points table with nine wins in 14 matches, RCB just lag behind with eight wins and a far superior net run rate.
Royal Challengers Bangalore
Kohli inspired Royal Challengers' recent four-match winning streak cannot be defined into words; it's sublime. Virat Kohli, as he stated earlier, scored his first ton of the tournament with to lift the morale of his teammates. Whatever came after that from Virat's bat, be it for morale boosting or anything else, has lifted his team from the bottom half to finishing second on the points table.
Their last match saw the Bangalore side bowl pretty good in the first innings. Chahal grabbed three wickets while Gayle took a couple. Chris Jordan and Sreenath Aravind each had a wicket to their name as de Kock top-scored for Delhi Daredevils with 60 runs from 52 balls. However, the Daredevils could only notch up a total of 138 for the loss of eight wickets in the first innings.
Although Chris Gayle and AB de Villiers went back to the dressing room early on during the chase, the mighty Virat Kohli, and amateur Lokesh Rahul had a 66-run partnership for the third wicket which saw Royal Challengers get on top of the match. Even after Rahul got out, the Bangalore franchise was in the game with Virat standing guard at one end and hitting the winning runs in the first delivery of the second to last over.
In the other game, Nitish Rana’s excellent innings of 70 runs coming only in 36 balls took Mumbai Indians to a total of 172/8 in the first innings. Other batsmen like Rohit Sharma and Jos Buttler made decent contributions during the proceedings as well, while Praveen Kumar, Dhawal Kulkarni, Dwayne Smith, and Bravo picked up two wickets each.
Gujarat Lions ended the chase with a few balls to spare as McCullum and Raina batted sensibly after Aaron Finch’s dismissal who couldn't get off the mark. Brendon McCullum missed out on a 50, falling short by a couple of runs while Suresh Raina hit 58 off 36 deliveries. Dwayne Smith and Jadeja were on target as the two took the team across the line.
Gujarat Lions has been the most consistent side of the tournament, undoubtedly, as they finished top of the points table notching up nine wins in 14 games. RCB, on the contrary, are into the playoffs due to Virat Kohli's lethal cameos and consistency.
However, RCB bowlers have performed well, lately, restricting their last two oppositions to scores of only 120 and 138.
RCB, then, have the massive home advantage as well since Kohli and de Villiers can be murderous for any bowling attack on such a flat wicket. Hence, the Royal Challengers Bangalore are in a win-win situation