An elated Marcus Stoinis lifts the Lucknow Super Giants towards the playoffs. (Image: Lucknow Super Giants/Twitter)

As the final week of the IPL before the playoffs took place, There were twists and turns as the battle for fourth place came down to the penultimate match.

As the final week of the IPL before the playoffs took place, There were twists and turns as the battle for fourth place came down to the penultimate match.

After the Gujarat Titans confirmed their place at the top of the league last week, three more teams would join them for playoffs in week eight.

Here is what happened in week eight of the IPL:

Delhi Capitals

Match 64 of 70 v Punjab Kings

The Capitals have edged into the top four for the time being, following a tight 17-run win against the Kings.

David Warner’s hot form was bought to a grinding halt when he was dismissed with the first ball of the match. Mitch Marsh, on the other hand, was inspired by his latest run with the bat.

Marsh was once again the top scorer for the Capitals, smashing 63 (48) – a knock including 4 fours and 3 sixes. His second consecutive half-century stirred the Capitals to a total of 7/159 (20.0).

Warner nor Marsh played no part with the ball, although Warner was involved within the wicket of Jitesh Sharma. Sharma looked to have the Kings on the right track but was caught by Warner for 44 (34), with over two overs remaining.

Despite a bold chase, the Kings fell short by 17 runs, allowing the Capitals to claim the two points. The points allowed them to leapfrog the Challengers into fourth in the standings.

Match 69 of 70 v Mumbai Indians

The Capitals waltzed into their final league match against the Indians with one thing on their agenda – victory. If they lost, they would be out of the playoff hunt.

Things didn’t start as planned. When thrown into bat, both Warner and Marsh were dismissed quite early without making any impact.

Warner departed for 5 (6) to the hands of Daniel Sams, while Marsh was removed for a golden duck to Jasprit Bumrah – who eventually claimed man-on-the-match.

The Capitals posted a solid, yet shaky total of 7/159, all that was needed was 10 wickets.

Despite not bowling, Warner had an impact in the field. He caught the dangerous Ishan Kishan for 48 (35).

It came down to the wire, the Capitals defending for their lives. But it was no use, as the force of the Indians was too strong, overcoming the odds to defeat the Capitals by five wickets.

Mumbai Indians

Match 65 of 70 v Sunrisers Hyderabad

Aussie speedsters Daniel Sams and Riley Meredith remained on song with the ball for the Indians, as they narrowly lost to the Sunrisers.

Beginning with the ball, the Indians opted to use Sams early once again. The formula worked once again, as he picked up the first wicket of the innings, Abhishek Sharma for 9 (10).

The Sunrisers’ middle-order combination of Priyam Garg, Rahul Tripathi, and Nicholas Pooran began a devastating flow of runs. The trio smashed 23 boundaries collectively within their time at the crease.

At the end of the 17th over, Meredith snagged the wicket of Pooran for 28 (22). This stopped the onslaught, as the Sunrisers’ total of 6/193 (20.0) was posted.

The Indians almost pulled off an astonishing chase. Rohit Sharma, Ishan Kishan, and Tim David all got painstakingly close to half-centuries, however, all made it to 40.

Sams came in at first drop for the second time running, this time making 15 (11). His knock included one maximum.

The Indians needed 19 runs from the final over and although they didn’t quite reach the chasing total, they were close. The Indians climbed back, scoring 15 runs in the final over too, unfortunately, trail by three runs after 20 overs.

Match 69 of 70 v Delhi Capitals

The Indians entered their match against the Capitals, knowing if they could win it would prevent the Capitals from making the playoffs.

They won the toss and decided to bowl, and wickets flew early. By the end of four overs, the Capitals lost their Australian duo –Warner and Marsh.

Daniel Sams was on form once again, picking up the wicket of Warner for 5 (6). In doing so, he claimed his 100th T20 wicket in his career.

Between Sams and Riley Meredith, it was the only wicket they would collectively claim, yet the rest of the Indians’ bowling attack hustled.

Bumrah shone, with three wickets, disallowing any Capitals batter to reach a half-century – which was becoming normality.

With 160 to chase for victory, the Indians started strong. By the time Sams was introduced to the fray, the Indians only needed five runs from seven deliveries.

Although he didn’t hit the winning runs, Sams was in the middle when victory was asserted. The Indians won by five wickets, preventing the Capitals from making the playoffs.

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Lucknow Super Giants

Match 66 of 70 v Kolkata Knight Riders

Marcus Stoinis and the Super Giants hosted the Knight Riders, in the hope that they would become the second team to qualify for the playoffs.

When deciding to bat after winning the toss, Quinton de Kock and KL Rahul walked to the crease. Neither walked back until the 20 overs were up.

de Kock blasted 140* from 70 deliveries. His stint included 10 fours and 10 sixes as he posted the third-highest individual IPL score.

His striking partner, KL Rahul managed to make 68* from (51), as the pair survived the 20 overs. The Super Giants posted a total of 0/210 (20.0).

Their partnership was also the highest first-wicket stand the IPL had ever seen. As well was the first time an IPL team had survived 20 overs, without losing a wicket.

A gargantuan total still required some defending, which Stoinis brought to the table with the ball.

Stoinis’ first wicket was of the dangerous Shreyas Iyer who made a quickfire 50 (29) – top-scoring for the Knight Riders.

21 runs were needed from the final over and Stoinis was introduced to defend the runs. The first four balls went 4, 6, 6, 2 – meaning the Knights Riders only needed two runs from the final two balls.

With the penultimate ball of the match, Stoinis got his man. Rinku Singh was unbelievably caught by Evin Lewis for 40 (15).

Finally, with the final ball of the match, Stoinis got his third wicket, bowling Umesh Yadav for a golden duck. His last-minute heroics granted the Super Giants the victory and playoff qualification.

Stoinis’ spell of two overs came with figures of 3/23, however, he was outshone by de Kock’s batting innings – for the man-on-the-match.

Gujarat Titans

Match 67 of 70 v Royal Challengers Bangalore

After securing qualification against the Super Kings, the Titans’ final league game was against the Challengers before the playoffs.

Matthew Wade returned to the side, this time as the wicketkeeper. But he would have to wait until the second innings, as the Titans chose to bat first after winning the toss.

Wade, once again, provided a quickfire innings of 16 (13). This included 2 fours and a six, before his time at the crease ran out.

The Titans eventually posted a total of 5/168 (20.0). Wade would kit up behind the stumps after a long time between drinks.

The Challengers started prominently, with Virat Kohli and Faf du Plessis launching to an unbeaten ton.

After a long-fought innings, Wade endured his first piece of skill behind the stumps, stumping Kohli for 73 (54).

The damage was already done as the Challengers completed the chase with eight balls remaining, keeping their playoff hopes alive.

Royal Challengers Bangalore

Match 67 of 70 v Gujarat Titans

Josh Hazlewood and Glenn Maxwell were up to their typical best, in their attempt to keep the Challengers’ season alive.

The Challengers were sent into bowl first, and Hazlewood and Maxwell combined for the first wicket. From Hazlewood’s bowling, Maxwell caught Shubman Gill for 1 (4).

Maxwell got the next, picking off his fellow Australian Matthew Wade LBW for 16 (13). The Challengers began to look somewhat comfortable.

Hazlewood doubled his wicket column, taking the final wicket of the innings – Rahul Tewatia for 2 (3). The Challengers were set with a task of 169 runs for victory, to keep their season alive.

Kohli, du Plessis, and Maxwell got the Challengers over the line, in a blitzing second innings. When introduced to the crease, Maxwell piled on 40 runs – 12 in the winning over – from 18 balls.

The Challengers won by eight wickets, moving them into the final playoff spot for the time being. They needed the Capitals to lose to bottom-placed Mumbai in order to make the playoffs.

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