Delhi Capitals required to complete the chase of 154 in 17.3 overs to not just qualify for the playoffs, but also to deny Royal Challengers Bangalore of a spot in the final four. That implies an asking rate of 8.7 and with the heavy dew factor in Abu Dhabi, it looked absolutely worthwhile. But the Capitals solely concentrated on their own qualification, rather than going hard at the target. They batted cautiously through the game, especially against the spinners in the middle overs to secure a comfortable six-wicket win at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium on Monday. But with the win coming off with six balls to spare, it ensured a playoff spot for RCB as well.
Delhi will now face defending champions Mumbai Indians in Qualifier 1. RCB, on the other hand, will await the result of the final league game of IPL 2020 where Mumbai will take on Sunrisers Hyderabad. If SRH win, RCB will finish fourth. If Mumbai win, RCB will face fourth-placed Kolkata Knight Riders in the Eliminator.
On Monday, Delhi started off on a promising note with the opening pair of Prithvi Shaw and Shikhar Dhawan scoring together 19 runs off 11 balls before Mohammed Siraj found a hint of movement to square up the youngster and castled down the off stump.
With the early wicket, RCB looked to capitalise, but failed as Dhawan and Ajinkya Rahane dug deep to stitch a gritty stand 88-run stand where they cautiously negated the dangerous Yuzvendra Chahal and equally threatening Washington Sundar. Dhawan scored his 40th IPL fifty en route to his 41-ball 54 while also amassing 500 runs for this season and for the fourth time in his IPL career.
Dhawan departed shortly after his fifty when his premeditated lap sweep fell right into the hands of a diving Shivam Dube at short fine leg. Rahane, the other batsman in that key partnership, completed his 28th half-century but wickets kept falling at regular intervals thereafter.
Shreyas Iyer fell for just seven runs while looking to clear the long-on boundary while Rahane fell an over later. Delhi eventually completed the chase in 19 overs.
Young Devdutt Padikkal shone again with a half-century before Delhi Capitals roared back to restrict Royal Challengers Bangalore to 152 for seven in their final IPL league stage match here on Monday.
Padikkal, who looked in good nick during his stay in the middle, smashed five fours in his 41-ball 50 and shared a 57-run stand with skipper Virat Kohli (29 off 24) for the third wicket.
The Capital pulled things back brilliantly in the middle overs.
Pacer Anrich Nortje (3/33) was the pick of the bowlers for Delhi Capitals, while Kagiso Rabada (2/30) picked up two wickets and Ravichandran Ashwin (1/18) took the important wicket of Kohli.
Invited bat, Padikkal and Josh Philippe (12) were circumspect in the powerplay overs.
Rabada provided the Capitals with the early breakthrough off his very first ball, claiming the wicket of the Australian in the fifth over.
The powerplay overs yielded 41 runs, including five fours and a maximum, for the loss of one wicket.
Kohli, who was dropped on 13 in the 10th over by Nortje, tried to up the ante in the 12th over by hitting Axar Patel for a six. The RCB skipper again looked to smash the ball over the fence in the next over but was caught at deep midwicket by Marcus Stoinis off an Ashwin delivery.
Nortje struck twice in the 16th over to get ride of Padikkal and South African all-rounder Chris Morris for a duck.
AB de Villiers (35) was yet again in sublime touch and raised a 33-run stand with young Shivam Dube (17 off 11 balls), but the duo couldn’t power RCB to a bigger total.
(with PTI inputs)