- POINTS TABLE
There was a lot of stake for perennial underachievers Delhi Capitals as they took on Royal Challengers Bangalore with a place in the IPL playoffs at stake.
The winners of this game would seal in the place in Qualifier 1 against Mumbai Indians. The winner of Qualifier 1 straightaway goes through to the final, while the losing team gets another chance to make it to the title clash in Qualifier 2.
Both Delhi and RCB were keen to end up on the winning side.
Both Delhi and RCB had come into the game after a string of losses. Delhi lost their last four games, while RCB suffered three straight defeats.
Delhi, finally looking like they have the team to win the IPL for the first time, started off on the right note as Captain Shreyas Iyer won the toss and elected to bowl.
Anrich Nortje (3-33) and Kagiso Rabada (2-30) combined well to restrict RCB to a below-par 152-7 on a good batting wicket.
In their run chase, Delhi made a sparkling start with four boundaries off the first nine balls of their innings before Mohammed Siraj bowled a beauty to get rid of Prithvi Shaw who was beaten by the movement and bowled for nine.
That early wicket revived RCB’s hopes; they were keen to build on the good start and grab back the initiative.
Dhawan, who hit back-to-back centuries earlier in the tournament, and Rahane brought all their experience into play to keep the RCB bowlers at bay.
The asking rate was never going to be an issue and all they had to ensure was that Delhi didn’t lose too many wickets.
Dhawan ensured Delhi didn’t lose the momentum as he hit Chris Morris and Siraj for a boundary each before Rahane brought out the sweep against off-spinner Washington Sundar for the same result.
There was no moving Rahane, who cashed in on every opportunity, to score runs. He played a beautiful drive through the covers off left-arm pacer Isuru Udana for a boundary before hitting another well-timed straight drive past mid-off for a boundary to rally Delhi to 53-1 in six overs.
He also targetted RCB’s top wicket-taker Yuzvendra Chahal when he came in to bowl with a well-executed sweep shot through square leg for a boundary as he kept the runs coming after the powerplay.
Both batsmen brought up their half-centuries from 37 balls without much of a fuss. It was Dhawan, who got there first, with a four past short fine leg off Udana and Rahane ended the over with another cracking boundary over the covers
Dhawan (54) perished in tame fashion as his attempted lap sweep against left-arm spinner Shahbaz Ahmed went straight to the fielder at short fine leg in the 13th over, but Delhi looked in cruise control at that stage.
Rahane tried the reverse sweep, but miscued it to Shivam Dube at short third man after scoring 60 from 46 balls.
The duo’s 88-run partnership for the second wicket ended RCB’s hopes with some solid and determined batting in the middle overs.
Delhi cruised to an emphatic six wicket win with an over to spare and secure the second spot in the standings.
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