The South African pace duo of Anrich Nortje and Kagiso Rabada were at their lethal best as they powered Delhi Capitals to the IPL playoffs with a thumping six wicket victory over Royal Challengers Bangalore in Abu Dhabi on Monday.
Electing to bowl first, RCB started off steadily courtesy of their openers Josh Philippe and Devdutt Padikkal, who were unable to make most of the Powerplay as they managed just two fours in the first four overs.
Before the duo could go on the attack and make up for the slow start, Rabada struck the first blow for Delhi.
The fast bowler struck with his first delivery of the match as Philippe looked to hit over the top, but only sliced a simple catch to Prithvi Shaw on the off-side, in the fifth over.
It was Rabada's first wicket in the powerplay this IPL season, and took him past Jasprit Bumrah to reclain the purple cap, which is awarded to the highest wicket-taker.
Ravichandran Ashwin then dismissed Virat Kohli, who tried to lift the tempo in the middle overs, for 29.
But RCB, who were on 103 for 2 in 15 overs, were still well-placed to finish on a high, with Padikkal stroking his way to 50 from 40 balls and A B de Villiers at the other end.
But Nortje dented RCB's hopes of getting to a healthy total with his double strike in the 16th over.
After being hit for a six down the ground by de Villiers, Nortje picked up Padikkal, who made room and had a wild swing, missed and was bowled for 50.
Two balls later, Nortje dismissed compatriot Chris Morris, caught behind for a duck as he also tried to hit over the top.
De Villiers blasted a full toss from Rabada over square leg for a big six and Shivam Dube hit the pacer for a four over the off-side, but Rabada got the latter caught at deep midwicket for 17.
De Villiers smashed his way to 35 from 21 balls before he was run out attempting an impossible second run to Ajinkya Rahane at long-on. Nortje then got Isuru Udana caught at long-off for four.
Nortje finished with 3 for 33, while Rabada claimed 2 for 30 for combined figures of 5 for 63 in eight overs.
The pace duo played a huge role in restricting RCB to 152 for 7 on a good batting wicket.
Delhi never had any problems in their run chase as the experienced Shikhar Dhawan (54) and Rahane (60) carried them to an easy victory.