Delhi Capitals secured a top-two finish on their way to the Indian Premier League playoffs with a six-wicket victory over Royal Challengers Bangalore, who also qualified, here on Monday.
While DC went straight to Qualifier 1, RCB made the playoffs after their opponents took more than 17.3 overs to complete the task, helping Virat Kohli's side to finish the league stage engagements with better net run rate than Kolkata Knight Riders.
KKR will need Sunrisers Hyderabad to lose against Mumbai Indians on Tuesday to qualify.
Getting their act together in the nick of time after a two-week winless run, DC chased down a target of 153 with six balls to spare.
Chuffed with the performance. We knew it was a do or die and we just focused on the win, not NRR," said Delhi Capitals skipper Shreyas Iyer:
"It's a really competitive tournament for sure. I feel that the bowlers were really up with their plans and knew what they had to execute. We had a few sessions back in the hotel and the strengths and weaknesses of the opposition and it worked out today," added Shreyas.
Opener Shikhar Dhawan (54) and Ajinkya Rahane (64) struck fine half-centuries to power DC to their target after their bowlers dished out a clinical performance and restricted RCB to 152 for seven.
Commenting on the encounter, Virat Kohli, the RCB captain said, "It's a mixed bag. you come to games to try and get a result your way. Through probably the 11th over, the 17.3 mark was informed by the management".
This was a much-needed victory for Capitals after four defeats in a row.
Rahane and Dhawan stitched an 88-run partnership after the South African pace duo of Anrich Nortje (3/33) and Kagiso Rabada (2/30) led a fine bowling display to restrict RCB.
The Capitals will get two shots at qualifying for the final, while RCB will play in the eliminator.
Openers Prithvi Shaw (9) and Dhawan began the chase on an aggressive note, finding the ropes from the very first over.
However, the former India under-19 captain, who smashed two boundaries, once again departed early in the chase.
Dhawan found and able ally in Rahane as the two senior batsmen made full use of the field restrictions with the Capitals racing to 53 for one in quick time.
Dhawan reached his fifty in style, flicking the ball past short fine for a four. Shahbaz Ahmed broke the stand by getting rid of Dhawan in the 13th over.
Anrich Nortje, the Man of The Match, said, "I think, I say it time and time again, just the basics. We just had a couple of guys doing the basics right. It wasn't one guy doing something special. Small things started feeling a little better again, the rhythm".