No a thriller, but certainly a good day of cricket in Raipur as Royal Challengers Bangalore deservedly booked their play-off spot after beating a clueless Delhi Daredevils side on Sunday.
Chase-master Virat Kohli, once again, played a captain's knock to guide home his team with a six-wicket win and 11 balls remaining in the match.
With the win, RCB have finished second on the IPL table ahead of Sunrisers Hyderabad. Both teams are same on point, 16 each. Gujarat Lions topped with 18 points. Kolkata Knight Riders complete the top-four.
After Bangalore bowlers restricted Delhi to a below-par total of 138, Kohli paced the chase with perfection and remained unbeaten on 54 off 45 balls.
Delhi's total will not, on any given day, intimidate the star-studded RCB batting line-up. But, Delhi bowlers did well to drag the match to the penultimate over, and if was not for Kohli's tenth 50+ score in 14 innings, the match could have proved to be a close affair. And who knows, result could have also been different.
Delhi's innings was spurred by a brilliant Quinton de Kock, but the Proteas' 60 was not enough on a top which needed at least 160 for a fight, let alone RCB.
RCB will play the first qualifier against Gujarat Lions at home on Tuesday.
ROYAL CHALLENGERS BANGALORE INNINGS; TARGET 139
Over 18.1 || Score 139/4 (Kohli 54; Binny 16)
Carlos Brathwaite on for his last over, and a single to Virat Kohli to wrap up the match.
The RCB captain raced towards his team, and thanked someone from above. Raised both hands. And he's happy.
Over 18 || Score 138/4 (Kohli 53; Binny 16)
Needing 13 runs, Virat Kohli started the over with a double. Two dot balls, then a back of the length delivery which almost resulted in a wicket.
Then, a single which was followed by a bouncer for five wides. Pity!
Stuart Binny played a flicked shot for a four. And Zaheer Khan leaked 12 runs in his final over. His figures: 4-0-30-1.
Scores are level.
Over 17 || Score 126/4 (Kohli 50; Binny 12)
10th IPL fifty in 14 matches for Virat Kohli. This one is slow, off 40 balls.
Carlos Brathwaite conceded seven runs as RCB moved closer to a deserved win. They need 13 more runs from 18 balls.
Over 16 || Score 119/4 (Kohli 48; Binny 7)
Amit Mishra completed his spell today, for figures of 4-0-33-0.
A single to Stuart Binny to start, then another single. A dot ball, then a four as Binny found the gap at fine leg. A double, then a dot.
Over 15 || Score 111/4 (Kohli 47; Binny 0)
One busy over and Pawan Negi got his first wicket of the IPL 9.
A double to Virat Kohli off the first ball, then a single. It was followed by another double, as Shane Watson got himself busied. Two more singles, the wicket.
Watson played a lofted shot, and ended up offering an easy catch to Sam Billings at deep mid-wicket.
WICKET: Shane Watson c Sam Billings b Pawan Negi 14 (18b)
Stuart Binny is the new man.
Over 14 || Score 104/3 (Kohli 43; Watson 11)
Another 8-run over for Bangalore as Amit Mishra returned for his third over. A six over long-on, which Jayant Yadav, with a better timing to his jump, could have meant the end of Shane Watson. But it went for a six instead.
Over 13 || Score 96/3 (Kohli 42; Watson 4)
Carlos Brathwaite continued with his second over, and eight runs from the over.
Four singles off the first five balls, then Virat Kohli flicked to beat the chasing fielder to deep square leg boundary.
Over 12 || Score 88/3 (Kohli 36; Watson 2)
Finally, a good period of play for Delhi in the match. Amit Mishra returned for his second over and leaked only three singles.
Royal Challengers Bangalore need another 51 runs from 48 balls.
Over 11 || Score 85/3 (Kohli 34; Watson 1)
Carlos Brathwaite on and the big West Indian got the vital breaktrhough, removing Lokesh Rahul first ball. Played on or chopped on. Rahul wanted to steal a quick single after playing a drop shot, but the ball bounce back and hit the stumps even as the batsman tried to stop the ball.
WICKET: Lokesh Rahul b Carlos Brathwaite 38 (23b)
Two runs and a single from the over. Shane Watson is the new man.
Over 10 || Score 83/2 (Kohli 33; Rahul 38)
First hint turn as Jayant Yadav got his first over. A tossed up delivery a big turn. Dot ball to Virat Kohli. Another dot, then a double. Two more singles than Kohli played delicately cut for four, beatin third man fielder.
Over 9 || Score 75/2 (Kohli 26; Rahul 37)
Pawan Negi continued with his slow left arm spin. An over-pitched delivery to start, and paid the price as Virat Kohli found the gap. Ball raced through cover, for a four.
A single, then two dot balls. Two more singles, and seven runs from the over.
Royal Challengers Bangalore need another 64 runs from 66 balls.
Over 8 || Score 68/2 (Kohli 20; Rahul 36)
Spin from both the ends. Amit Mishra on for Delhi. A single to Lokesh Rahul off the first ball. Another single as Virat Kohli played towards long-on fielder.
A reverse shot from Rahul, for two runs, and Kohli was not happy with running the effort from his partner. Rahul stopped in the middle of pitch after before returning for the second on Kolhi's insistence.
Another couple, then back-to-back fours as Rahul dissect the leg side with precision. 14 runs from the over.
Over 7 || Score 54/2 (Kohli 19; Rahul 23)
Bowling change. Pawan Negi on as Delhi sought their own million-dollar arm.
Five singles, and a good start from the spinner. It's only the fourth time Negi's been given the ball this season.
Over 6 || Score 49/2 (Kohli 17; Rahul 20)
Chris Morris continued for his third over, and a dot ball to start. A half-chance followed a Lokesh Rahul played a uppish shot over cover. fielder, who jumped in vain. Three runs for the effort with Carlos Brathwaite sliding to stop the ball.
A dot ball, as Virat Kohli almost perish at first slip of an outside edge.
Two singles, then a lucky six over fine-leg of pull shot without control. A single to end the 11-run over.
Over 5 || Score 38/2 (Kohli 16; Rahul 10)
Zaheer Khan on for his third over.
Virat Kohli played a sumptuous on drive off an over-pitched delivery for a four. It was followed by a lucky four, behind the wicket, on the leg side. Any other day, it would have given a wicket.Thick inside edge.
A dot ball, then a single. A dot, then another single. Good response from Zaheer. 10 runs from the over.
Over 4 || Score 28/2 (Kohli 7; Rahul 9)
Chris Morris was brilliant for his first four balls conceding only a single. But back-to-back fours from Lokesh Rahul off the last two balls spoilt the figures.
Nine runs, and RCB need another 111 runs from 16 overs.
Over 3 || Score 19/2 (Kohli 6; Rahul 1)
Still a slip in place, and Zaheer Khan continued for his second over. A single to Virat Kohli, then a swing and miss from AB de Villiers.
Next ball, a beautiful delivery from Zak and even better catch at extra cover, where Jayant Yadav completed the send off with an tumbling effort. The bouncer, on middle, stopped forcing AB to jump and play an evasive shot.
WICKET: AB de Villiers c Jayant Yadav b Zaheer Khan 6 (8b)
Lokesh Rahul is the new man. Three runs and a wicket from the over.
Over 2 || Score 16/1 (Kohli 4; de Villiers 6)
Chris Morris shared the new ball with Zaheer Khan. And what a start. Forced Chris Gayle to play on.
WICKET: Chris Gayle b Chris Morris 1 (4b)
Then, arrived AB de Villiers. Two dot balls, the a four as AB played a horizontal shot through square leg.
A bouncer followed as the South African involved in a high-staked IPL duel. Quinton de Kock, another Proteas, behind the wicket couldn't reach to the ball and five wides.
A dot ball, then two runs to end the 11-run over.
Over 1 || Score 5/0 (Gayle 1; Kohli 4)
Zaheer Khan started with away swinger. A slip for Chris Gayle. First run off the third ball, as Gayle played on the leg for a single.
Virat Kohli spanked the first ball he faced for a four through cover. That's Virat for you. Next ball, short of length, good response from Zaheer.
A lovely defensive shot on front foot to end the over.
It was strange innings from Delhi. First ten overs yielded some 75 runs, sacrificing three wickets. But the second part was a typical horror show from the hosts, as wickets kept falling at regular intervals. And the promotion of Pawan Negi ahead of Carlos Brathwaite and Chris Morris was baffling, considering the over-priced batsman's record. Expensive clothes don't always make one look good. Now it's up to Zaheer Khan to do something.
In between, Yuzvendra Chahal became the leading wicket-taker of the season with 19 scalps. He took three today.
DELHI DAREDEVILS INNINGS
Over 20 || Score 138/8 (Morris 27)
Shane Watson on for the last over. Jayant Yadav took three balls to take a single. A frenetic double followed. Then a dot ball. A wild swing from Morris towards cover and a single. Jayant Yadav sacrificed himself for a non-existent second run.
WICKET: Jayant Yadav run out 5 (7b)
And with that a disciplined Bangalore bowling unit restricted Delhi for a very low total.
Over 19 || Score 134/7 (Morris 24; Yadav 4)
Iqbal Abdulla on for the penultimate over. Nine runs from the over, which included a four.
Three singles off the first three balls, then a reverse sweep by Chris Morris. Then, a single which could have been easily a double.
A single to end the over.
Over 18 || Score 125/7 (Morris 18; Yadav 1)
Shane Watson returned for his third over, and ten runs from it.
It started with an adventurous four from Chris Morris, who played an upper cut shot to good effect. No chance for the fielder at short third man.
A dot ball, then two two's. Two singles from the last two balls.
Over 17 || Score 115/7 (Morris 9; Yadav 0)
Yuzvendra Chahal on for his last over, and wicket off first ball. The big wicket of Quinton de Kock. Third umpire took ages before giving the decision.
The bowler seemed to have overstepped, but a disappointed de Kock had to go. Another unlucky decision against the South African. Caught at long-off by Chris Jordan. Easy one for the fielder.
WICKET: Quinton de Kock c Chris Jordan b Yuzvendra Chahal 60 (52b)
Eight runs from the over as Chris Morris got his first four, off the fourth ball, through third man area.
Jayant Yadav is the new man, and Chahal's figures: 4-0-32-3.
Over 16 || Score 107/6 (de Kock 60; Morris 2)
Finally some runs for Delhi as Quinton de Kock continued to hold firm amidst the ruin. Nine runs, which included a four — off the fifth ball — from the over.
Thus Sreenath Aravind completed his spell today, for figures of 4-0-28-1.
And Delhi also crossed the 100-run mark.
Over 15 || Score 98/6 (de Kock 53; Morris 0)
Double wicket from Chris Gayle, and five runs.
The part-time spinners removed both Pawan Negi and Carlos Brathwaite off the third and sixth balls respectively.
WICKET: Pawan Negi c AB de Villiers b Chris Gayle 6 (12b)
AB de Villers took neat catch at long-off as Negi played a lofted shot.
Two deliveries later, Shane Watson took a very very low catch to send back dangerous Brathwaite.
WICKET: Carlos Brathwaite c Shane Watson b Chris Gayle 1 (2b)
Chris Morris is the new man.
Over 14 || Score 93/4 (de Kock 51; Negi 5)
Sreenath Aravind returned for his third over. A single to Quinton de Kock as the South African reached his third fifty of the season.
A dot ball, then a hit back from Pawan Negi, and another drop-catch. Difficult one for the bowler.
Two singles off the last two balls, and four runs from the over.
Over 13 || Score 89/4 (de Kock 49; Negi 3)
Another tidy over from Bangalore as Chris Gayle conceded seven runs from his first over. Three singles, then a double.
A leg-bye, then a wide and a dot ball to end the over.
27 runs in the last five overs for Delhi, losing two wickets.
Over 12 || Score 82/4 (de Kock 46; Negi 1)
Brilliant from Bangalore. Chris Gayle produced a stunning catch at backward point, as Chris Jordan leaked only two runs from his second over.
WICKET: Sam Billings c Chris Gayle b Chris Jordan 4 (6b)
But, Sreenath Aravind dropped a catch to give life to new man Pawan Negi off the last ball at third man.
Over 11 || Score 80/3 (de Kock 45; Billings 4)
Bowling change. Iqbal Abdulla on for his first over, and only five runs from it. Three singles and a double.
Over 10 || Score 75/3 (de Kock 41; Billings 3)
Yuzvendra Chahal continued for his third over, and a wicket, and eight runs from it.
A dot ball to Sanju Samson, then a four through mid-wicket. Next ball, a huge, confident shout for caught behind from Lokesh Rahul. Bruce Oxenford nodded. Samson didn't think it was out. Contentious.
WICKET: Sanju Samson c Lokesh Rahul b Yuzvendra Chahal 17 (12b)
Sam Billings is the new man.
Over 9 || Score 67/2 (de Kock 40; Samson 13)
Shane Watson for his second over, and good one from the Aussie all-rounder. Five singles.
34 runs, and a wicket in the last five over.
Over 8 || Score 62/2 (de Kock 38; Samson 10)
Delhi responded to those good overs with a 14-run over, thanks to a six and a four.
Yuzvendra Chahal continued with his second over, and a single to Quinton de Kock off the first ball. Sanju Samson, facing only the fourth ball, lofted a huge, huge six over long-on.
Three singles, then a well-timed four from de Kock. which beat two fielders at deep backward square.
Over 7 || Score 48/2 (de Kock 32; Samson 2)
Another good over from Bangalore. Only five runs — all singles. And Stuart Binny completed his second over. Good rotation from Virat Kohli.
Over 6 || Score 43/2 (de Kock 29; Samson 0)
Another bowling change. Yuzvendra Chahal on for Bangalore.
A dot ball to Quinton de Kock to start the over. A single followed, then the wicket of Karun Nair, thanks to a brilliant running catch from Virat Kohli. It sure reminded of Kapil Dev's catch against the West Indies in 1983 World Cup final.
The skipper ran backwards, sideways from mid-off to track the ball, and completed the catch at boundary.
WICKET: Karun Nair c Virat Kohli b Yuzvendra Chahal 11 (10b)
Two singles and a wicket from the over. Sanju Samson is the new man.
Over 5 || Score 41/1 (de Kock 27; Nair 11)
Another bowling change. Virat Kohli introduced Shane Watson, and eight runs from the Aussie all-rounder's first over.
A dot ball Karun Nair, then a double. Two more dot balls, then a six over third man. Cut shot put to good effect.
Over 4 || Score 33/1 (de Kock 27; Nair 3)
Sreenath Aravind continued with his second over.
Quinton de Kock hit the first ball for a six over mid-off. Just made it. De Kock failed to punish the next two balls, which were short and wide.
Then a risky shot from the South African for a four to the fine leg boundary. He shuffled and and gently guide the middle-stump delivery through line-leg.
Two more singles, and 12 runs from the over.
Over 3 || Score 21/1 (de Kock 16; Nair 2)
Bowling change for Bangalore. Chris Jordan on.
And a no-ball, and a single to Quinton de Kock to start the spell. Free-hit. Karun Nair failed to maximize the freebie and holed out at sweeper cover. A catch, but not catch.
Three dot balls, then de Kock played a brilliant straight drive for four runs. Jordan responded with a widish delivery, which was played to the cover for a single. Eight runs from the over.
Over 2 || Score 13/1 (de Kock 9; Nair 1)
Sreenath Aravind shared the new ball, and what a start from the left-arm seamer. A dropped catch at short fine-leg, which resulted in a single, the wicket of Rishab Pant. Caught behind.
WICKET: Rishab Pant c Lokesh Rahul b Sreenath Aravind 1 (2b)
Three singles, and wicket from the over. Karun Nair is the new man.
Over 1 || Score 10/0 (de Kock 8; Pant 1)
with a slip, Stuart Binny started the proceedings, and a single to Quinton de Kock off the first ball.
A single followed, as Binny's military medium pace with some movement was played on the leg side by Rishab Pant.
Binny continued delivering on the leg, and the third ball — with a faintest of flick — went for a four. It was followed by a double, then a dot ball for good for he bowler.
A wide, then a single for ten runs.
Umpires: Nand Kishore and Bruce Oxenford
Third Umpire: Virender Sharma
Match Referee: Chinmay Sharma
Reserve Umpire: Yeshwant Barde
Here's the key fact! As many as seven Delhi players have won man-of-the match awards, thus displaying the team's all-round strenght. And their seven-wicket win earlier in the tournament was their only victory over Bangalore in eight attempts.
Delhi Daredevils: Quinton de Kock (wk), Rishabh Pant, Karun Nair, Sanju Samson, Sam Billings, Carlos Brathwaite, Chris Morris, Pawan Negi, Amit Mishra, Jayant Yadav, Zaheer Khan (capt.)
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli (capt.), AB de Villiers, Lokesh Rahul (wk), Shane Watson, Sachin Baby, Stuart Binny, Chris Jordan, Sreenath Aravind, Iqbal Abdulla, Yuzvendra Chahal
RCB players warming-up
— IndianPremierLeague (@IPL) May 22, 2016
TOSS: For a change, Virat Kohli won the toss. And Royal Challengers Bangalore bowl first against Delhi Daredevils.
Here's the update from Eden Gardens. Two-time champions Kolkata Knight Riders beat Sunrisers Hyderabad by 22 runs to book third play-off spot. And now, it's direct shoot-out between Delhi and Bangalore for the final last-four spot.
Delhi Daredevils: Zaheer Khan (capt.), Quinton de Kock, Jean-Paul Duminy, Mayank Agarwal, Amit Mishra, Sanju Samson, Mohammed Shami, Chris Morris, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Imran Tahir, Shreyas Iyer, Karun Nair, Pawan Negi, Rishabh Pant, Sam Billings, Carlos Brathwaite, Khaleel Ahmed, Akhil Herwadkar, Mahipal Lomror, Chama Milind, Shahbaz Nadeem, Pratyush Singh, Pawan Suyal, Jayant Yadav.
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Virat Kohli (capt.), Chris Gayle, AB de Villiers, Shane Watson, KL Rahul, Sachin Baby, Varun Aaron, Abu Nechim, Sreenath Aravind, Stuart Binny, Yuzvendra Chahal, Travis Head, Iqbal Abdullah, Kedar Jadhav, Chris Jordan, David Wiese, Akshay Karnewar, Sarfaraz Khan, Vikramjeet Malik, Mandeep Singh, Parveez Rasool, Harshal Patel, Kane Richardson, Tabraiz Shamshi, Vikas Tokas, Praveen Dubey.
PREVIEW: This is winner-takes-all match. Both Delhi Daredevils and Royal Challengers Bangalore have given themselves a chance to make the last-four. A win, that's all either side needs today at Raipur.
RCB, with a better net run-rate (+0.930, best of all teams), can still still go through even after a defeat, if Sunrisers Hyderabad beats Kolkata Knight Riders in the first match today.
However, there's no such luxury for hosts Delhi, which has a negative net run rate (-0.102).
With three wins on the trot, Bangalore have become a team to beat as the season enters it's final stretch. And leading the team is Virat Kohli, the man of the moment.
Besides the skipper, Bangalore have the likes of AB de Villiers, Chris Gayle and Shane Watson — all match-winners. How well this star-studded team perform today will decide their season.
If they fail to make the play-offs, it will be considered a huge failure, both for the team and also for Kohli.
By the way, Kohli is the only batsman to score more than 800 runs in a single edition.
On the other hand, Zaheer Khan's side has been blowing hot and cold. When this ensemble young turks click together, Delhi are one of the best outfits. But inconsistency has bogged down their cause in many instances.
Welcome to our live coverage of the match 56 of 2016 Indian Premier League between Delhi Daredevils and Royal Challengers Bangalore being played at Shaheed Veer Narayan Singh International Stadium, Raipur.