New Delhi: Delhi Capitals, became the second team this season after Chennai Super Kings to qualify for the playoffs as they defeated Royal Challengers Bangalore by 16 runs.
By securing a spot in the playoff, the Delhi franchise ended their seven-season streak during which they failed to reach the top four. After defeating RCB, captain Shreyas Iyer said his side would look to maintain the same intensity in the rest of the tournament.
“We were termed as the underdogs before the start of the tournament. This is an amazing feeling. Before the start of the tournament we wanted to qualify, so we are really satisfied and happy now that we have qualified. We are going to maintain the same intensity and mindset for the rest of the tournament”‘ he said.
He credited the success this season to a collective effort. “In every game individuals have chipped in with handy contributions and taken the team over the line. It is really important to let the bowlers do their job and not interfere, same is the case with the batsmen.”
Talking about the match against RCB, he said “It is important to get 50-plus in powerplay on this ground. Dhawan has been amazing for us and Rutherford’s cameo helped us to 180, we got 15 runs extra because of his innings.”
Delhi opener Shikhar Dhawan, who scored 50 off 37 deliveries, said, “It was intentional to bat faster and I am glad that I did. I am enjoying smacking the ball over the boundary. I want to be positive and keep scoring runs in the remaining games.”
With his side all but out of the reckoning for a play-off berth in this IPL, Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli Sunday admitted that the home side played better in crunch moments. “We started off really well with the bat. Powerplay was outstanding and then I got going, but me and AB (de Villiers) getting out to balls that you don’t get out to. That’s how the game goes some times. Delhi played better than us in the crunch moments,” Kohli said.
Kohli said RCB allowed Delhi to score 20-odd runs more than an ideal total after the home side elected to bat. “It was a very important toss especially with how the wicket played. We showed a lot of character even after losing the toss, but it got away a little bit in the end. We were thinking 160-165 but 185 on that sort of a pitch, with three spinners, was always going to be tough,” the India captain said.
After a disastrous start, RCB kept themselves in the hunt for a play-off berth by winning four out of last six games. “We put ourselves under too much pressure in the first six games and then it is always hard work in the latter half. So, we just decided to have a lot of fun and that’s why we won four out of the last six games we have played,” Kohli said.
“The important thing now, with two games left, is to go out there and have fun. Not take too much pressure. Obviously, we want to perform as best as we can, but the fun factor should not go away. We have to go out there and play positive cricket. Once the last two games are done, we will sit down and see where the tournament had gone for us,” he added.