After being put to bat first, everyone expected a masterclass from Kohli-de Villiers to take RCB to a good total but they could only manage to put 152 runs on board. In the second half, a ruthless Dhawan and Rahane ensured that even Chahal went wicketless, chasing the target with ease.
RCB 6/10 - In a must-win encounter for both the sides, Delhi got off to a better start in comparison to Royal Challengers Bangalore, who lost the wicket of Josh Philippe early on in the innings. However, since then, Devdutt Padikkal and Virat Kohli ensured that they got to 40 at the end of the powerplay phase. Game on.
DC 9.5/10 - Delhi’s approach to the run-chase was rather refreshing as both the openers just went from the first over, with Dhawan indeed looking very special in the middle. However, Shaw’s dismissal did hurt them but the experience of Ajinkya Rahane ensured that they got to 53 runs in the first six overs.
RCB 7/10 - One of IPL’s best middle-order and yet the returns are only a paltry 63 runs for the Royal Challengers Bangalore, as they once again managed to mess up things in the middle-overs. Virat Kohli and Devdutt Padikkal were yet again notorious with a very slow partnership, which only put them under immense pressure.
DC 9.5/10 - Well they continued on, showed what they are worth, and moved on better than most of the teams in the tournament, on the back of Ajinkya Rahane’s knock. Imagine that, Rahane was at his efficient best, with a 33-ball 46 to take Delhi to 123/2, just 30 runs shy of the target.
DC 8/10 - On the spot, on point is what defines Delhi Capitals death over bowling, as Bangalore could only score 49 runs in the last five overs, for a batting line-up which has excelled from time and again in the death overs. Even a 21-ball 35 from ABD wasn’t enough, which suggests that even the best of players sometimes need a helping hand.
RCB N/A - Well it just reached a point, where the death overs really did not matter for either of the sides, as 17.3 overs was what was mentioned plenty of times. Apart from that, there was not really much on offer for both the sides, who just looked out to bat like they were drawing a Test match.
RCB’s opening dilemma continues to haunt them
RCB never really found their perfect opening partnership thus far in the tournament, with some even saying that they are still planning to change their pair of openers. Now that’s the risk that they went with in the tournament, knowing that Aaron Finch was the only designated opener and once his form started to wither, they replaced him with an inexperienced Josh Philippe, a move that equally has failed them. If the Men in Red and Gold do get knocked out, they would be on the wrong side of their own move, which has horribly backfired. Could they have tried out the dangerous Moeen Ali at the top, especially given that he would have been a better fit in the overall sense for the franchise, with his all-round abilities? Some say RCB could have even used Virat Kohli as an opener but should it really go that way in the first place?
Anrich Nortje fires in a crucial encounter
In the past, the Delhi fans were restricted to cussing their team’s exit following the tournament. However, this New Delhi team, under Shreyas Iyer has put a ‘brand’ on the team with their performance and integral to that is their Proteas star, Anrich Nortje. While Rabada has suffered significantly in the past, Anrich Nortje’s firing cannon has helped them early on in the innings, multiple times. However, in the last few games, that firing cannon has returned icy ones, instead of pacy ones, which have been royally dispatched by the batsmen. However, in a must-win game, the pacer came back and bowled brilliant lines and lengths to not only dismiss Devdutt Padikkal but also triggered a mini-collapse as RCB wandered in no man’s land after the 15th over of the innings.
Where’s the aggressive skipper Kohli?
Now, we have heard enough of the aggressive skipper Virat Kohli but during this game, he was never aggressive, to a point that Royal Challengers Bangalore were looking clueless and skipper-less in the second innings. Especially by bringing Yuzvendra Chahal for just a two-over spell gave away the game to the opposition on a platter. Remember Navdeep Saini’s last game? This game, it was the Sri Lankan pacer Isuru Udana, who in his first over conceded 11 runs before returning to concede 13 runs, and from thereon, RCB were never, never going to win the game even if Chahal had two overs of eight balls left! Sometimes you wonder what is Kohli really thinking, this was one of those times especially a day after Morgan showed how to be aggressive.
After dropping Virat Kohli, the match seemingly looked like it was going against Delhi’s favour, with him scoring two boundaries. However, that is when the turning point arrived, as Ashwin outfoxed the Indian skipper to turn the tables for the Capitals, indeed a capitalistic return for them.
Match Frenzy O Meter - Snoozefest and intent less
How dare I say that this game, the most expected one from not only RCB and Delhi fans but also KKR fans was just a snooze fest, how dare I? Truth to be admitted, it had nothing in the first half, barring AB de Villiers’ cameo where he was striking the ball so sweetly. In the second half, Delhi were just running away with the chase, as RCB put on a real listless and toothless bowling performance but incidentally, both of them qualified even after such a boring game.