IPL: Delhi earn spot, Royal Challengers Bangalore say phew
Delhi Capitals were the winners, but Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) were not exactly the losers in the crunch match, billed as a virtual quarter final, at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium on Monday.
While Capitals, courtesy their six-wicket win, qualified as the second-placed team on the points table behind Mumbai Indians, RCB did just enough to ensure that their net run rate — -0.172 — remained better than that of Kolkata Knight Riders — -0.214. As a result, Virat Kohli’s side have also progressed to the playoffs.
Sunrisers Hyderabad will be the fourth team in the playoffs if they beat Mumbai Indians on Tuesday. If they lose, Knight Riders will be lucky.
After putting up 152/7 in 20 overs batting first, RCB had to make sure that they did not let Capitals reach the target in 17.3 overs or less to stay ahead of the Knight Riders in net run rate. They survived as the Delhi team could overhaul the target only in 19 overs.
While Capitals will play Mumbai Indians in the first Qualifier, RCB will play the Eliminator against either Sunrisers or the Knight Riders.
But RCB will have a lot to ponder on before their playoffs contest. Monday’s loss was their fourth on the trot. Despite captain Virat Kohli’s tendency to talk a lot about intensity, that is exactly what his team lacked on the field.
Young Devdutt Padikkal impressed with yet another 50, but the rest of the batters, barring AB de Villiers (35 off 21 balls) and including Kohli, seemed to be lacking in intent and execution.
Capitals’ bowlers were on mark, with Anrich Nortje (3/33) and Kagiso Rabada (2/30) excelling. Ravichandran Ashwin too deserves credit for conceding only 18 runs off his four overs and picking up the prized scalp of Kohli.
In reply, Shikhar Dhawan (54) and Ajinkya Rahane (60) combined well for an 88-run stand to make the chase look easy for Capitals.
Among the RCB bowlers, Bengal left-arm spinner Shahbaz Ahmed (2/26) impressed.