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IPL Season 9: RCB complete remarkable turnaround to finish 2nd

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The Royal Challengers Bangalore were in 7th place in the IPL Standings barely a fortnight back, they completed what has been a rather remarkable turnaround, winning their 5th game on the bounce to take second place and the spoils that go with it by beating the Delhi Daredevils by 6 wickets in the final group stage match of Season 9 of the Indian Premier League.

Their latest win takes RCB up to second spot, which means they will enjoy home comforts when they entertain the table topping Gujarat Lions at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium on Tuesday in the Qualifier for the Final, giving them two bites of the cherry at making the IPL Final. RCB's win also relegates the Sunrisers Hyderabad to third place, forcing them into an instant rematch against the side that beat them earlier today, the Kolkata Knight Riders at Feroz Shah Kotla, Delhi on Wednesday.

The match itself today wasn't as exciting as one would have hoped with the Delhi Daredevils posting a well under-par total of 138-8 in their 20 overs after having been put in to bat. Delhi's most consistent performer, Quinton de Kock, turned up for the big game, top scoring with 60, but was made to work very hard for his runs, needing 52 deliveries.

The South African wicketkeeper-batsman got very little support from Delhi's young rookie batting line-up with Rishabh Pant (1), Karun Nair (10), Sanju Samson (17) and Pawan Negi (6), all failing to make a telling contribution. Sam Billings, brought into the side for JP Duminy, was disappointing too, chipping with just 4.

The big hitting Carlos Brathwaite was one of Chris Gayle's two victims as the veteran West Indian also turned his arm over on a pitch that offered a lot of turn.

It wasn't till Chris Morris clubbed 27 off 18 balls at the fag end of the innings did Delhi really set the pulse racing with the bat, and 138 on this pitch was never going to be enough against a batting unit filled with so much quality.

Delhi did give themselves a fighting chance though by picking up the wickets of Chris Gayle (1) and AB de Villiers (6) early, leaving RCB in a spot of bother at 17-2.

KL Rahul led the counter attack for the Bangalore side, smashing 38 off just 23 balls to transfer the momentum back in Bangalore's favour. At the other end, Virat Kohli decided to drop anchor and bat through the innings, chipping in with an unbeaten 54 off 45 balls to lead his side to victory.

Shane Watson (14) and Stuart Binny (16*) gave Kohli some handy company as Bangalore strolled to victory with 2 full overs to spare.

Teams:

Delhi Daredevils: Quinton de Kock (wk), Rishabh Pant, Karun Nair, Sanju Samson, Sam Billings, Carlos Brathwaite, Chris Morris, Pawan Negi, Amit Mishra, Zaheer Khan (c), Jayant Yadav

Royal Challengers Bangalore: Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli (c), AB de Villiers, KL Rahul (wk), Shane Watson, Sachin Baby, Stuart Binny, Chris Jordan, Sreenath Aravind, Iqbal Abdulla, Yuzvendra Chahal

Mini Scorecard:

Delhi Daredevils 138/8 (20 overs, 6.90rpo)

Q de Kock 60 (52) Y Chahal 3-32 (4)

C Morris 27* (18) C Gayle 2-11 (2)

Royal Challengers Bangalore 139/4 (18.1 overs, 7.65rpo)

V Kohli 54* (45) C Brathwaite 1-18 (3.1)

KL Rahul 38 (23) P Negi 1-19 (3)

Royal Challengers Bangalore win by 6 wickets