Royal Challengers Bangalore won by 7 wickets
Player of the match: Srikar Bharat
That is that then. We started off on the 9th of April and after what has been a rollercoaster ride that saw the tournament abruptly suspended due to that dreadful virus, we have the final four ready - the Delhi Capitals will face the Chennai Super Kings in Dubai in Qualifier 1 on Sunday, while the Royal Challengers Bangalore will lock horns with the Kolkata Knight Riders in the Eliminator in Sharjah on Monday. Things are certainly set up for a fitting finale that this league deserves and the Round Robin phase has come to a close in much a similar fashion. Thank you so much for tuning into Sportskeeda's live coverage of this humdinger of a clash and we hope you enjoyed it as much as we did in bringing it to you. Do return this Sunday for our coverage of Qualifier 1 while keeping yourselves up to date with all the other cricketing action across the globe, including the 2nd T20I between Australia and India at the Carrara Oval tomorrow. For now though, on behalf of my good friend and fellow textpert Shashwat Kumar, this is Sooryanarayanan Sesha humbly reminding you to mask up and get yourselves vaccinated in case you haven't already. Good night, take care and here's to a great weekend!
The Indian Premier League has thrown up another young talent into its rich folklore in the form of Srikar Bharat. Yes, he has been an India A member for a couple of years at least now and is next in line for the Indian test side after Rishabh Pant and Wriddhiman Saha, but for someone who wasn't touted as a T20 prospect per se, he has shown what he is capable of doing alright. And what a confidence booster it must be for the young man as well to stand out in a team studded with superstars! The Royal Challengers have rounded off the league phases in grand fashion and although they won't be getting a second bite at the cherry, they definitely take searing momentum and oodles of confidence into the playoffs and definitely look like a force to reckon with alright. As for the Delhi Capitals, they've been quite a force all tournament really and while this loss shouldn't deter their confidence, they will have to put it aside very quickly before returning to this very same venue in a couple of days' time for the first Qualifier.
Srikar Bharat (Player of the Match): It was great winning off the last ball. It was an incredible feeling to finish it off. Maxi and I kept telling each other to watch the ball and connect with it. It was the main thing that we were communicating with each other and it paid off. I was not nervous at all - I was just trying to stay in the present and when the wide came I knew I would get another ball and I went for it. I'm a firm believer that nothing comes with ease and I work for it. Lots of confidence ahead of the playoffs.
Virat Kohli (Royal Challengers Bangalore Captain): Unbelievable! It was a game where we had nothing to lose. But when you lose early wickets it is still competitive. It feels good to know we've beaten them twice in the tournament. There's a reason they are on top of the table. They started off brilliantly but the way firstly AB and then KS batted was good and the partnership between KS and Maxi was brilliant. (Did he contemplate batting first to go for the 2nd spot?) The reality of the situation is that we had to win by 160 runs but we thought the other way around - if there was a collapse we could have done something. Pulling off a chase gives a different kind of confidence. Heading into the playoffs it gives us a lot of confidence. We haven't batted second much so far and if you lose the toss you have to be able to pull off the game. The number 3 spot hasn't been an issue at all - we wanted to give Dan Christian some time with the bat. T20 is such that sometimes you bat brilliantly in the nets and it doesn't come off in the game. We are absolutely okay with it. With Bharat making some really good contributions, we knew that we have a guy who could walk in at 3 at any stage of the game. DC batting up meant that everyone has got a chance and everyone has had game time - that was the mindset. I definitely think we need to sharpen up on the field. Sometimes the boundaries are going at crucial stages and they might be very crucial in the big games. No team is going to give you a second chance in the playoffs. A win like this gives extra momentum and motivation to play at your best. We have played well at Sharjah and handled the conditions well and play accordingly. We've been able to come back well if things were getting away from us. We're going to utilize that experience as much as we can and keep moving forward.
AB de Villiers (Royal Challengers Bangalore): It was a fantastic one and we're very happy with it. The last game we came up short in a very similar situation when I was at the crease. It's much needed momentum going into the knockouts now. The bowlers have showed a lot of character - we've not had the best of starts in the first six. Prithvi and Shikhar batted really well although we bowled pretty well. But to pull it back every single time like we have is amazing. It shows a lot of character in the bowling team and we will need that in the knockouts. I haven't had a lot of opportunities out there. I'm hitting the ball well. I'm striking it well and working really hard in the nets. Looking forward to what is to come. We need to keep doing what we've been doing and maybe up it a notch. We've been talking about peaking at the right time - we haven't played our absolute best cricket yet. I think we're very close and if we can flick that switch in the next couple of games going into the final - hopefully there's a lot of good things to come.
Rishabh Pant (Delhi Capitals Captain): In T20s, we say often that fielding is going to be important but if you field like that the other team deserves to win. We lost too many wickets in the middle but the score was decent enough for this kind of wicket. We have to field better next time though. (On the plans for the final over) We were trying to keep it simple but because of dew it was difficult for the fast-bowlers to grip the ball. They actually did well but the fielders had to back it up. You've got to win these kind of matches but we are trying our 100 per cent each and every game.
STAT ALERT: This is the Royal Challengers Bangalore's 100th win in the IPL!
Phew! That was something! It was something outrageous - the whole day has been. What with manic cricket at Abu Dhabi, which isn't over yet by the way, we have been treated to a spectacle here at Dubai with the Royal Challengers Bangalore wrapping the league stages with a thrilling victory!

The chase began in the worst possible fashion for RCB with Devdutt Padikkal ramping a bouncer straight down the throat of third man off his very first delivery. With Anrich Nortje prizing out Virat Kohli as well a couple of overs later, the Royal Challengers were rocked quite early on in their run chase and had their backs against the wall.

AB de Villiers was sent in ahead of Glenn Maxwell and while Srikar Bharat took the attack to Axar Patel, the seamers hit the hard length on a regular basis to keep the scoring rate considerably down in the Powerplay.

de Villiers then decided to switch gears with some belligerent shots that rubbed the pressure back on the Capitals. With Ravichandran Ashwin also put to the sword in his opening over, the Capitals needed to see the back of him at the earliest. Axar returned to respond to his skipper's call as he had de Villiers pulling one down the throat of deep mid-wicket.

Shreyas Iyer could not replicate the same a few overs later though with Glenn Maxwell handed a life - only to be dropped again by Ashwin later in the same over. Amidst all of this, Srikar Bharat continued to go about his accumulation of quick runs in an unassuming manner with a particular liking taken to Axar. He was seeing it like a beachball and smothering it through the line of the ball to allow Maxwell the time he would have wanted to see himself in.

Both batters then took the attack to the opposition with some panache and started reeling off the big shots. Bharat notched up a half-century studded with character, class and panache as he stood tall and took up the responsibility of scoring the big runs as well with Maxwell showing signs of cramp with the Dubai humidity catching up with him. The duo went about reducing the required rate in clinical fashion although the fielding effort of the Capitals left a lot to be desired.

It was the very same fielding that would come back to haunt the Capitals with the game going down to the wire. 15 runs were needed off the final over with Nortje bowling a penultimate over for the ages. Avesh Khan executed as well as he could have but with a costly fielding lapse allowing Bharat to take strike for the final delivery, a wide and a full toss meant that the pressure got to the bowler with Bharat sealing the most dramatic victory for his side. Talk about a confidence-booster ahead of the playoffs and RCB have managed to do so in some fashion!

One has to feel for Anrich Nortje who bowled his heart out and set up the defense for the Capitals with two early wickets. He was quite easily the pick of the bowlers even as Axar Patel endured a tough night by his standards. Kagiso Rabada went wicketless again although he nailed his yorkers to great effect, Avesh Khan endured a tough end to the contest and one must wonder if the move to give Ripal Patel three overs at the cost of Ravichandran Ashwin was right on the part of the Capitals, especially with wickets being the sore need of the hour. Stick around for the presentation - we will bring them to you as it happens.
SRIKAR BHARAT! REMEMBER THE NAME! He has pulled off an Arun Karthik to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat for RCB! WOW! Catch your breath folks - the Royal Challengers Bangalore have beaten the Delhi Capitals by 7 wickets off the last ball of the game!
19.6 Avesh Khan to KS Bharat, SIX! BHARAT WINS IT! Thigh height full toss on middle and leg stump and Bharat absolutely climbs into it! He goes deep into his crease and clatters that one way over long on for a maximum to seal the deal for RCB! What a victory for RCB! Plenty of momentum to carry through to the Eliminator now! DC only have themselves to blame, though!
Avesh pleads for fine leg to drop back to the fence and Rabada does so.
Oh dear! The pressure has got to Avesh and Pant has done well to pick it up to his left. Maxwell is asking for a no ball but it wasn't high enough to be given so. 5 needed off the last ball now. SUPER OVER, ANYONE?
19.6 Avesh Khan to KS Bharat, waist height full toss down the leg side. Bharat does not get any bat on it and he then sees the umpire stretch out his arms and signal a wide! OH MY! 5 off 1 now!
Excellent yorker from Avesh and after a bit of hesitation, the batters decide to run the second. Rishabh Pant is not happy with the fielding effort there. 6 needed off the final delivery. Hold onto your hats folks!
19.5 Avesh Khan to KS Bharat, excellent yorker outside off stump. Bharat walks across his stumps and pokes the ball down the ground towards long on, where a misfield allows the second. Poor from Axar! Will it cost DC?
That was a brave delivery from Avesh - he wears a sheepish grin as well with the attempted yorker going awry. Still a priceless dot ball for the Delhi Capitals and it is 8 needed off 2 now...
19.4 Avesh Khan to KS Bharat, AHH! Full delivery outside off stump. Bharat has a massive slog at it but is too late on the shot again as the ball fizzes past the outside edge. Lost all shape there!
It was all but a chance review in the end. That was sliding way down leg. 8 needed off 3 now...
19.3 Avesh Khan to Glenn Maxwell, excellent yorker that hones in on the batter's toes. Maxwell gets his front foot out of the way and tries to dig it out but only manages to drop it into the off side for a single. Pant reviews! 

There is no bat involved but the ball, even on the first replay, seems to have struck Maxwell outside the line of leg stump! The umpire is having multiple looks at it though, according to protocol, of course!
6th half-century of the season for Glenn Maxwell! It brings up the 100-run partnership as well between him and Bharat. He's having a ball this season alright. Can he cap it off with a win tonight?
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