Daredevils eliminated as RCB edge entertaining clash
Delhi Daredevils cannot reach the Indian Premier League play-offs after Royal Challengers Bangalore won a big-hitting clash by five wickets on Saturday.
Batsmen on both sides thrived in this basement battle as the hosts looked on course for victory after a strong end to their innings in Delhi, with Abhishek Sharma posting an unbeaten 46 from 19 balls to set a target of 182.
But RCB also had fun finding the boundaries as Virat Kohli made 70 off 40 and AB De Villiers carried his side across the finish line with a knock of 72 not out that included six sixes.
RCB's own hopes of reaching the post-season remain slim, but they at least have something to play for in the closing weeks of the tournament.
PANT PROVES CLASS
Delhi were hugely grateful to Rishabh Pant for his knock after a dismal start to their innings, losing two wickets in the first three overs.
Yuzvendra Chahal accounted for both as he picked off middle stump behind both Prithvi Shaw (2) and the bamboozled Jason Roy (12) to leave the Daredevils reeling on 16-2.
Pant was in no mood to follow his team-mates, though, as a sublime nine boundaries - including a pair of sixes in the eighth over - brought up 61 runs off 34 balls, before finally bowing out to De Villiers' catch from a Moeen Ali delivery.
KOHLI'S MEN COLLAPSE
Pant's efforts still should not have been enough for Delhi to post a commanding total, but RCB completely collapsed with four overs of the innings remaining.
The Daredevils' tally swelled from 120-4 to 181-4 as they allowed Sharma to step into Pant's shoes, notching 21 in a 22-run 17th over to set a far more difficult target for the visitors.
RCB captain Kohli was shaking his head as he departed for the innings break and it was more of the same immediately after the restart, with Moeen (1) and Parthiv Patel (6) dismissed quickly.
DE VILLIERS DELIVERS VICTORY
But Kohli and De Villiers soon made a mockery of these early struggles and put on a marvellous stand of 118 for the next wicket, the visiting skipper hitting 10 boundaries.
It was Pant's catch that finally removed Kohli, but De Villiers drove on. Trent Boult's (2-40) bowling was initially economical, but Harshal Patel's (1-51) was less so and an unlikely victory loomed large for RCB.
And Boult could not deny De Villiers as he completed the chase with a six with an over remaining.