Delhi Capitals cemented their place in the IPL playoffs for the first time since 2012 with a 16-run win over Royal Challengers Bangalore in New Delhi on Sunday (April 28).
Chasing 188 to win, RCB lost wickets at regular intervals and could only muster 171 in response, leaving their playoff qualification hopes hanging by a thread and heavily dependent on other results going their way.
RCB made a strong start to the chase as Parthiv Patel came out swinging with Virat Kohli looking to set himself up for a long innings.
By the time Parthiv departed at the end of the sixth over, RCB already had 63 on the board and with Kohli and AB de Villiers out in the middle, would have fancied their chances.
Yet Kohli too departed shortly thereafter, having earlier survived a caught behind attempt that looked out but replays showed the ball bouncing before Rishabh Pant claimed it.
De Villiers and new batsman Shivam Dube then strung together a 35-run partnership before the former holed out to Axar Patel in the deep.
Heinrich Klaasen and Dube departed shortly thereafter and RCB looked out for the count, but a 51-run stand between Gurkeerat Singh Mann and Marcus Stoinis briefly revived the away side’s chances.
But once Gurkeerat was dismissed the chase looked improbable and so it proved as the final two overs went for just 13 runs, leaving the home team in raptures.
Earlier after winning the toss and opting to bat, half-centuries from Shreyas Iyer and Shikhar Dhawan coupled with a late flurry of runs from Sherfane Rutherford saw them post 187-5 in their 20 overs.
Dhawan and his partner Prithvi Shaw looked to start the match in attacking fashion and had raced to 30 runs in the first 3 overs but Shaw’s departure looked like it could curb the flow of runs.
Yet skipper Iyer came out and continued to look to score at a brisk rate. The two batsmen managed to put together a 50-run stand for the second wicket.
Dhawan also notched up his half-century but perished when he tried to slog sweep Yuzvendra Chahal and was caught by Washington Sundar at fine leg.
Rishabh Pant was dismissed cheaply by Chahal as well before Iyer too departed just after scoring his half-century when looking to take on Sundar.
Ingram got a start but also perished after going for one big shot too many, leaving DC staring at the possibility of scoring a low total.
Yet a valuable 46-run partnership between Rutherford and Axar Patel – including the former scoring 20 runs off the final over – took DC past the 180-run mark.