The eighth edition of the Indian Premier League is now well underway, with six of the eight teams having already been in action through the first three days. But the 2015 IPL will really get going this weekend, with four games in two days and some intriguing matchups in store.
Here’s what to look out for:
Chennai Super Kings vs. Sunrisers Hyderabad (Saturday, 6.30 a.m. EDT, M.A. Chidambaram Stadium)
The IPL’s most successful team through its first seven years got off to a winning start as they strive to back up their tag of pre-tournament favorites. It was far from a straightforward victory, however, for Super Kings. With Brendon McCullum and Suresh Raina failing to deliver with the bat, veteran captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni was needed to produce some trademark big-hitting late on just to set Daredevils a still eminently reachable total of 150 to win on Thursday. They just survived to pull through by a single run, but will surely be looking for their stacked batting lineup to provide a better platform at home to Sunrisers Hyderabad. Yet to make their debut in this year’s IPL, last year’s sixth-place finishers will hope to profit from a strong pair of openers in the shape of Australia’s David Warner and India’s Shikhar Dhawan.
Kolkata Knight Riders vs. Royal Challengers Bangalore (Saturday, 10:30 a.m. EDT, Eden Gardens)
Last year’s champions, Kolkata, got off to an impressive start in 2015 with a seven-wicket win over Mumbai Indians to make it 10 successive victories in the IPL. Captain Gautan Gambhir led the chase with 57, while Morne Morkel was the pick of their strong bowling attack, taking two wickets. But Knight Riders will have their work cut out to continue their winning streak against what is on paper a phenomenal Royal Challengers team. And there is much anticipation to see how an already fearsome batting lineup -- featuring AB de Villiers, Chris Gayle and Virat Kohli -- now boosted by added depth will perform.
Delhi Daredevils vs. Rajasthan Royals (Sunday, 6.30 a.m. EDT, Ferozeshah Kotla)
After winning just two matches in last year’s tournament, Daredevils couldn’t have come much closer to grabbing a welcome victory their opening match in 2015. With a six needed off the final ball, Albie Morkel’s shot agonizingly bounced just before the boundary to leave Daredevils reflecting on something of a missed opportunity. And things are unlikely to get too much easier in their second match against a Rajasthan Royals side that got their IPL to a fine start, when beating Kings XI Punjab by 26 runs on Friday. On the evidence of that, subduing James Faulkner will be key to Daredevils’ chances. Fresh from his World Cup triumph with Australia, Faulkner continued his fine form, hitting 46 with the bat and then taking the key wicket of compatriot Glenn Maxwell.
Mumbai Indians vs. Kings XI Punjab (Sunday, 10.30 a.m. EDT, Wankhede Stadium)
Last year’s runners-up, Kings XI Punjab are now tasked with bouncing back against another team that tasted an opening defeat. A loss will have been particularly disappointing for Kings Xi after they made a fine start when Mitchell Johnson helped reduce the Royals to 75-5. But Faulkner took over, and the Kings XI batting struggled, too, with Virender Sehwag being dismissed first ball and influential big-hitter Maxwell being stopped in his tracks. Mumbai will be boosted by the form of their captain, Rohit Sharma, who hit 98 not out against Knight Riders.
TV channel: For viewers in the United States, Dish and Mediacom will offer pay-per-view coverage, with subscriptions available through your set-top box or contacting your provider.
Live streaming: ESPN Cricket will provide live-streaming coverage of every match via a subscription costing $79.99.