Delhi Capitals’ Shikhar Dhawan raises his bat after scoring a fifty during their match against Royal Challengers Bangalore at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi, on Monday. Courtesy: IPL website
Mohammad Abdullah, Staff Reporter
A ruthless bowling performance by the South African pace duo of Kagiso Rabada (2-34) and Anrich Nortje (3-33) helped Delhi Capitals (DC) set up a six-wicket victory over Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) to book a play-off berth in the Indian Premier League (IPL) on Monday.
Shikhar Dhawan (54) and Ajinkya Rahane (60) smashed fifties as Delhi chased down the target of 153 runs with six balls to spare to avoid any unwanted jitters of depending on the result of other teams after restricting Bangalore to 152/7. They will face Mumbai in the first qualifier.
Despite the loss, Bangalore also qualified for the play-off by the virtue of net run rate. They are on the third spot, one better than Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR). If Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) beat Mumbai on Tuesday, they will knock Kolkata out of the race and book a berth in the knockout stages.
Bangalore did try to make some inroads through their bowlers but Delhi went over the line comfortably. Dhawan and Rahane shared an 88-run partnership for the second wicket to take the match away from Bangalore before the middle order took the onus of taking them to safety.
Delhi’s win was felicitated by Bangalore’s decision of dropping Aaron Finch in the crucial clash. Bangalore omitted experienced Australian batsman to accommodate Josh Philippe in the opening slot.
Earlier, Bangalore got off to a cautious start. Openers Josh Philippe and Devdutt Padikkal put up 25 runs for the first wicket in 4 overs. Padikkal continued his rich vein of form and struck another fifty, albeit little slow than what was needed.
Both the openers were wary of not losing the wicket and played sensibly.
Rabada and Nortje struck the right notes when it mattered the most. Both the pacers had taken the tournament by storm with a stellar show in the first half.
Rabada triggered the skid, sending back Philippe, who holed out to Shaw in covers. Kohli and Padikkal added 57 runs for the second wicket, taking the score to 82-2 in 12.3 overs.
They steadied the ship but consumed too many deliveries, which hurt their run rate. The duo took a whopping 50 deliveries in a sedated partnership which yielded just seven runs more than the balls used.
Kohli, who got a reprieve when on 14, failed to capitalise on the missed chance. He was dropped off Axar Patel as Nortje put down a sitter. Wily spinner Ravichandran Ashwin sent back the Indian captain. AB de Villiers came out in the middle and spurred the run rate. He added 30 runs for the third wicket with Padikkal in just three overs.
Nortje ran through the middle order. He rattled the stumps of Padikkal, breaking the dangerous-looking partnership. Two balls later, he had Morris caught by Pant to reduce Bangalore to 112-4.
Rabada got rid of Dube while De Villiers fell prey to an excellent throw by Rahane before Nortje got Udana for his third scalp as Bangalore could manage to muster 152/7.
Both Delhi Capitals (DC) and Royals Challengers Bangalore (RCB) will look to avoid any unwanted jitters and qualify for the play-offs with an out-right victory in their crucial Indian Premier League (IPL) match on Monday.
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