In 2016, by the time the IPL had got to this stage, Royal Challengers Bangalore were soaring high on confidence. But the star-studded team, which went on to make it to the final, has struggled throughout the tournament this year, languishing at the bottom of the points table.
Delhi Daredevils’ chances of a top four finish, meanwhile, were dismissed by Sunrisers Hyderabad’s seven-wicket win at home against Mumbai Indians. But ever since, Delhi’s young guns have started to fire, leading them to back-to-back victories.
When the teams meet in the 56th match of the Indian Premier League 2017 on Sunday (May 14) at the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium in Delhi, they will be fighting only for pride and the satisfaction of finishing the season with a win. Even their places on the points table are decided: Delhi will finish sixth, Bangalore last irrespective of the results.
Given the form of Virat Kohli’s side, Rahul Dravid’s young brigade will back themselves.
In their last game, Delhi won a consolation victory over Pune by seven runs, driven by Karun Nair’s half-century, cameos from other batsmen and a disciplined bowling performance. In the game against Gujarat Lions, Shreyas Iyer’s brilliant 57-ball 96 and Amit Mishra’s two fours in the last over had Rahul Dravid pumping his fist in delight.
Bangalore have had some time to recover from the punishment meted out by Sunil Narine and Chris Lynn when Kolkata Knight Riders completed the chase of 159 with six wickets and 29 balls to spare.
They will also take heart in that they have a better winning percentage than Delhi at Feroz Shah Kotla stadium.
The last time these two teams met, Bangalore posted 157 for 8, courtesy Kedar Jadhav’s 37-ball 69. Rishabh Pant’s heroics went in vain when Pawan Negi’s tight bowling in the final over gave Bangalore a 15-run victory.
Matches played: 18 Bangalore: 11; Delhi 6; No result 1
Head-to-head at Feroz Shah Kotla, Delhi:
Matches played: 6; Delhi: 2; Bangalore: 4