IPL 2019: Ponting targets top-two finish for Delhi Capitals following play-off qualification

Sudhir Gupta 07:57 29/04/2019
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Delhi Capitals coach Ricky Ponting. Image - BCCI/SPORTZPICS.

Delhi Capitals coach Ricky Ponting is now targeting a top-two finish for the side following their Indian Premier League (IPL) play-off qualification for the first time since 2012.

On Sunday, Delhi became the second side after defending champions Chennai Super Kings to enter the IPL 2019 play-offs following their 16-run win over Royal Challengers Bangalore at the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium.

It was the eighth win in 12 games for Shreyas Iyer and his men and it helped them leapfrog Chennai to the top of the table. Delhi will now travel to Chennai to take on CSK in their penultimate league fixture and Ponting is excited by the challenge.

“You want to be peaking at the right time, so for us to bounce back after a five-day break and win tonight was a really good thing,” the Australian icon said after Saturday’s win.

“We go to Chennai now, which is a hard place for anybody to win, so that’s a great challenge for us.

“To the boys’ credit, we haven’t really talked about where we are on the table, just getting as well-prepared and planning as well as we can for the next challenge. So yeah, we’ve qualified, that’s really great, but two big games to go, and the target now will be to finish one or two.”

For Virat Kohli and RCB, the 16-run loss has all but ended their play-off ambitions. Mathematically, the side can still progress to the final four should other results too go their way but that seems highly unlikely and improbable at this stage.

Kohli is now hoping that his side can play with freedom in the remaining two league matches.

“The important thing now, even in the last two games we’ve got, is to just go out there and have fun,” the RCB skipper stated.

“Remember how we started playing this game and not take too much pressure. Obviously, we want to perform as well as we can, but the fun factor should never go away.

“We put ourselves under too much pressure in the first six games and it’s always too much of hard work at the latter half of the tournament, but we’ve still got two games and we’re going to work hard.”

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