A last-over win for Mumbai Indians broke Delhi Capitals’ hearts in their final IPL 2022 game at the Wankhede Stadium paved the way for Royal Challengers Bangalore to secure the final playoffs berth on Saturday. Mumbai Indians won by five wickets with five balls to spare.
Mumbai Indians came into the game with the whole RCB universe backing the Rohit Sharma-led side. Having won their final league game by eight wickets against Gujarat Titans, RCB were fourth in IPL 2022 points table with 16 points but with a negative net run rate (NRR).
Before the Mumbai Indians game, Delhi Capitals were placed fifth in the table with 14 points from 13 games and a positive NRR. A win on Saturday would have guaranteed Delhi Capitals an IPL 2022 playoffs berth ahead of RCB. However, luck wasn’t on Ricky Ponting-coached side.
As it stands, Gujarat Titans will take on second-placed Rajasthan Royals in the Qualifier 1 while third-placed Lucknow Super Giants face Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Eliminator on May 24 and 25 respectively. Both games will be played at Eden Gardens in Kolkata.
By the virtue of finishing one-two both Gujarat Titans and Rajasthan Royals will have another shot at the final even if they lose in Qualifier 1. Whoever wins between GT and RR qualify directly for the May 29 final while the loser will play the winner between LSG and RCB.
The Qualifier 2 will be held at the Narendra Modi Stadium on May 27.
Already out of contention, MI played party-poopers as they first restricted Delhi Capitals to 159/7 with Jasprit Bumrah snapping three wickets and then returned to overhaul the target in 19.1 overs to knock the 2020 finalists out of the tournament.
While Ishan Kishan (48) and Dewald Brevis (37) kept MI in the hunt, it was Tim David's 11-ball 34-run cameo that brought the five-time champions back into the chase. Tilak Varma also chipped in with a crucial 17-ball 21.
With MI at 95 for 3 in 14.3 overs, Delhi Capitals skipper Rishabh Pant made a strategic blunder as he refused to go for DRS after David nicked the first ball of his innings but the on-field umpire didn't give him out.
It came back to haunt Delhi Capitals as David slammed fours and sixes at will to bring down the equation to 15 off 14 balls and then five from the last over. Khaleel Ahmed bowled a no ball in the first before Ramandeep Singh gave the finishing touch with a four, over short third man to seal the deal.
Reacting to the strategic blunder of not going for the DRS against Tim David, Pant admitted he felt something but didn’t go up as everyone in the circle wasn’t convinced. “I thought there was something,” Pant said after the game.
“Everyone standing in the circle wasn't convinced and at the end, I didn't go up,” added the dejected skipper. “We could have done better execution and planning. Learn from mistakes and come back stronger next year.”
Meanwhile, before the start of the game, the RCB social media team changed their profile picture colour from red to blue in support of Mumbai Indians. “I am banking on Rohit to come good,” RCB skipper Faf du Plessis said before the game. Even the whole RCB contingent watched the MI vs DC game together.