The Royal Challengers Bangalore beat the Delhi Daredevils by six wickets to progress to the IPL playoffs and knock their opponents out in the process.
In what was the last match of the group stages, a thrilling contest was on the cards as the match between RCB and the Daredevils was a straight knockout to see who would make the playoffs. It was a fairly comfortable victory in the end for Virat Kohli’s charges, capping off a phenomenal finish to their campaign.
They needed to win all four of their final matches to go through, and they did exactly that, boasting a net run-rate good enough to finish in the top two. A match against the Gujarat Lions now awaits them to see who qualifies automatically for the final. The loser of that match will still have a chance, playing the winner of the eliminator between the Sunrisers Hyderabad and the Kolkata Knight Riders for that second spot in the final.
De Kock was the top-scorer in the match with 60, but he struggled to find a partner to build a solid total, as the Daredevils stuttered throughout after being sent in to bat first.
Kohli’s clever rotation of his bowlers, which saw Chris Gayle’s part-time off-spin and Yuzvendra Chahal produce five wickets between them, meant that the Daredevils’ highest partnership was 31. De Kock fell in the 17th over just as he was about to gather some momentum, while Chris Morris, who has more than justified his expensive price tag in this campaign, scored 27 off 18 balls.
Kohli is in some truly ridiculous form with scores of 109, 75 not out and 113 going into this. He was just the gift that kept on giving as he saw his side over the line with a well-measured 54 not out, despite the likes of Gayle (1) and AB de Villiers (6) falling cheaply. Lokesh Rahul provided a valuable knock of 38 off just 23 balls to alleviate the pressure off Kohli, while Stuart Binny provided the finishing touch with 16.
In the earlier game, the Kolkata Knight Riders snuck into the playoffs courtesy of a 22-run victory over the Sunrisers Hyderabad. In hindsight KKR would have made it anyway with the victory to RCB, but the Sunrisers will now have to go the long way around after surrendering their top-two position. Yusuf Pathan was Man of the Match for his 52, while Sunil Narine also impressed with three wickets.