IPL 2020: crunch time for Royal Challengers Bangalore after defeat to Sunrisers Hyderabad
Virat Kohli's team face must-win match against Delhi Capitals following five-wicket loss
Virat Kohli says he is relishing the prospect of a winner-takes-all encounter against the team from the city of his birth, as six teams vie for a place in the IPL playoffs.
With one round of matches left in the league phase of the season, the second-placed to seventh-placed sides are split by just two points.
Table-topping Mumbai Indians are the only side assured of a place in the knockout stage. Chennai Super Kings, in last, are the only team who cannot qualify.
Royal Challengers Bangalore and Delhi Capitals will meet in Dubai for their chance to stay in the IPL 2020.
Each passed up the chance to advance as they suffered defeats in the penultimate double-header of matches on Saturday.
First, Delhi were soundly beaten by Mumbai at the Dubai International Stadium in the afternoon match.
Then, in the evening match in Sharjah, Kohli’s Bangalore fell to a five-wicket defeat against Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Wriddhiman Saha scored 39 while all-rounder Jason Holder remained unbeaten on 26 from 10 balls as Hyderabad chased down Bangalore's total of 120-7 with five wickets and 35 balls in hand.
Holder had earlier picked up 2-27 from his four overs to set up victory.
“It is a competitive tournament, and you can’t take any team lightly,” Kohli, the Bangalore captain, said.
“The situation is in front of us. We need to win our last game to hopefully finish in the top two.
“It is going to be a cracker of a game [against Delhi]. I have always been a Bangalore boy in the IPL, I have never drifted towards Delhi.”
Mumbai v Delhi player ratings
Victory gave Hyderabad, who had started the day second last in the table, a shot of their own at qualification.
They face Mumbai in the last league match, in Sharjah on Tuesday, knowing that a win could put them through.
Delhi missed their chance to seal their place in the knockout stage as they were thrashed by nine wickets by Mumbai yesterday.
They had seemed a shoo-in for qualification when they won seven of their first nine matches this season.
Their form has crashed, though, as they have lost their last four matches, meaning they will need to beat Bangalore on Monday to advance.
“It is a tough tournament,” Mohammed Kaif, Delhi’s assistant coach, said.
“Teams have gone through the initial phase losing matches and are coming back fighting, while we have been losing right now.
“We are looking forward to the next match against RCB. Hopefully we can qualify for the top four. We have to fight to try to win that game.”
Shreyas Iyer, Delhi’s captain, said his side had failed to respond to a slow start with the bat as they wilted against the defending champions.
“We weren’t up to the mark right from the start,” Iyer said.
“Those wickets in the powerplay [Delhi were 22-2 after six, following the loss of Prithvi Shaw and Shikhar Dhawan] took the momentum away from us.
“It was really important that a few of us came in and built a partnership, but that only happened in bits and pieces.
“There are lots of flaws that need pointing out. We have to believe in ourselves and show that we are strong [minded] and be really positive.
“We will have to be fearless in our approach and try to keep things simple.”
The win assured Mumbai of a place in the top two in the table. Because of the way the playoffs are structured, that means they will get two shots at qualification in the final.
They will play in the first qualifier match, in Dubai on Thursday, November 5.
Win that, and they will advance straight to the final. Lose, and they still have a second chance, against the winner of the eliminator match between the third and fourth placed teams.
They were indebted to the brilliance of Trent Boult and Jasprit Bumrah, who took three wickets each as Delhi were kept to 110-9 from their 20 overs.
Ishan Kishan won the man of the match award, though, for his sparkling innings worth 72 not out from 47 balls.
Published: October 31, 2020 10:41 PM