Delhi Capitals became the second team after Chennai Super Kings to cement their place in the VIVO IPL 2019 Playoffs after their 16-run win over Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Capital on Sunday. With their eighth win of the competition, the Capitals moved to the top of the points table with 16 points, but with a net run rate bettering CSK. This is also the first time the franchise, earlier going by the name Delhi Daredevils, has qualified for the Playoffs since 2012.
Electing to bat after winning the toss, half-centuries from Shikhar Dhawan and captain Shreyas Iyer, and a late cameo from Sherfane Rutherford powered the Delhi Capitals to a strong total under hot conditions at the Feroz Shah Kotla. In reply, Royal Challengers Bangalore had raced to 90-2 at the 10-over mark, but wickets at crucial intervals meant none of the batsmen converted their starts into a big score to anchor the run chase.
Buoyed by his quick-fire innings with the bat, Rutherford returned to get the prized wicket of AB de Villiers in the 12th over, after Purple Cap leader Kagiso Rabada had provided DC with the opening breakthrough with the wicket of Parthiv Patel, who again looked impressive for his 20-ball 39. Axar Patel then got the wicket of Virat Kohli for 23 to redeem himself after the punishment he received in the Powerplay overs.
Shivam Dube and Gurkeerat Singh, who were drafted into the RCB side on Sunday afternoon, scored 24 and 27 respectively to keep the chase alive, but none of them managed to take the game till the end, with Gurkeerat falling to Ishant Sharma in the 19th over, caught excellently by wicketkeepet Rishabh Pant. Marcus Stoinis struck two powerful sixes en route to an unbeaten 24-ball 32, but was left with too many runs to get off Rabada’s final over.
The Capitals were off to a flier courtesy a flurry of boundaries from Prithvi Shaw, and his dismissal for 18, off Umesh Yadav in the fourth over, didn’t deter the home side from continuing to attack the RCB bowlers.DC cashed in on the Powerplay overs taking 59 from them, and despite losing Rishabh Pant and Iyer in successive overs, DC kept the scoreboard moving thanks to a late surge from Rutherford and Axar Patel, who added 46 runs in the last three overs, including 20 off the last, bowled by Navdeep Saini.
Standout batting performance
Shikhar Dhawan’s third consecutive half-century ensured Delhi Capitals were laid another solid platform. Dhawan brought out his signature upper cut to begin the proceedings in the opening over off Umesh Yadav, before taking RCB’s star spinner Yuzvendra Chahal on in the Powerplay, pumping the leggie for a six and a four in the third over. Despite the slow nature of the Feroz Shah Kotla surface, Dhawan looked at ease against both pace and spin, and struck another fine fifty in his team’s cause.
Notable Support Act – Batting
20-year-old Sherfane Rutherford waited patiently for his turn to get his first game in the VIVO IPL, but has managed to make immediate impact since being drafted in. A quick cameo against Rajasthan Royals took DC over the line, and coming in to bat against RCB in the 17th over, Rutherford got to work immediately, going after RCB’s strike bowlers Umesh Yadav and Navdeep Saini in search of quick runs. Three sixes and a boundary in the last two overs powered DC to a challenging total on a slow Delhi surface.
Standout bowling performance
Axar Patel has been in terrific form with the ball for Delhi Capitals, and the left-arm spinner showed his wares during the win over Royal Challengers Bangalore on Sunday evening. Despite being taken for boundaries in the second over off Parthiv Patel, Axar returned to remove RCB captain Virat Kohli in the 8th over, breaking the dangerous Kohli-AB de Villiers combination in the middle. Axar’s wicket allowed DC to come back into the game, as his figures of 1-26 ensured RCB didn’t manage to score enough runs in the middle overs.
Washington Sundar made a name for himself bowling in the Powerplay in previous editions of the VIVO IPL, which got him fast-tracked into the Indian team as well, and after waiting until the fag end of the competition in 2019, he pounced on his chance. Sundar opened the bowling against the aggressive Delhi Capitals openers, but held his own throughout, only going for three boundaries in his four overs. Coming back to bowl in the 16th over, Sundar got rid of the well-set DC captain Shreyas Iyer for 52 which applied the brakes on the home team’s scoring, and finished with figures of 1-29.
Notable Support Act – Bowling
Kagiso Rabada showed once again the reason he has been leading the race for the VIVO IPL Purple Cap standings. With figures of 2-31 from his four overs, Rabada closed out what was turning out to be a close finish with RCB needing 36 from 18 balls. Rabada, who had bowled two overs up front and removed the dangerous Parthiv Patel with the second last ball of the Powerplay, returned to concede just 6 runs from the 18th over. With 26 needed off the last over, Rabada added another wicket to his tally and just gave away 9 runs to ensure DC won by 16 runs to move into the Playoffs.
Delhi Capitals 187-5 (Shreyas Iyer 52, Shikhar Dhawan 50, Sherfane Rutherford 28*, Yuzvendra Chahal 2-41) beat Royal Challengers Bangalore 171-7 (Parthiv Patel 39, Marcus Stoinis 32*, Amit Mishra 2-29, Kagiso Rabada 2-31) by 16 runs.
Stat of the Match:
This is the first time the Delhi franchise has qualified for the Playoffs since 2012.
Man of the Match:
Shikhar Dhawan, for his 50 off 37 balls.