IPL 2022, Lucknow Super Giants vs Royal Challengers Bangalore, Eliminator, Highlights: A magnificent hundred by Rajat Patidar brings RCB closer to the final | Cricket News



KOLKATA: Little-known national bulwark Rajat Patidar had literally the biggest stage of his fledgling career with a stunning hundred that put Royal Challengers Bangalore within sniffing distance of title clash after beating Lucknow Super Giants by 14 points in the IPL Eliminator on Wednesday.
RCB will meet Rajasthan Royals in Friday’s second qualifier, which will decide Gujarat Titans opposition for Sunday’s final
Courtesy of Patidar’s 54-ball-112 not out who had 12 fours and seven huge sixes, RCB literally toppled the LSG attack, stacking a towering 207 for 4 in 20 overs.
For LSG, the only saving grace was Mohsin Khan’s stunning numbers of 1 for 25.
In response, KL Rahul’s 78 from 59 didn’t have much of an impact except to bolster his individual tally as LSG finished on 193 for 6 after 20 overs.
While Patidar’s hundred set up the RCB well, no amount of praise will suffice for the brilliant Harshal Patel (4-0-25-1), whose 18th on plenty of wide yorkers and staggered variations definitely tipped the game in his favor of the team.
Once Josh Hazlewood took Rahul down in the 19th, the RCB team in spirit had already boarded the flight to Ahmedabad.
While Rahul helped himself to three fours and five sixes, but his 96 point position with Deepak Hooda (45) kept LSG in the fight a total of six limits against 14 sixes told a different story.
Especially when RCB hit 21 fours outside of the maximum nine they had up their sleeves.
There was a phase where Rahul’s stick felt a bit selfish and he felt like he was happy as long as he got his 600 points for the season.
One day their famous batting trio of Faf du Plessis (0), Glenn Maxwell (9) and Virat Kohli (25) failed to captivate a crowd of Eden, RCB number 3 played out of his skin as 90 points came in at four. and six on just 19 balls.
While most of the RCB’s star hitters struggled for time, the 28-year-old looked effortless with his slices, punches, counter punches and drives to dominate the rest.
And to make Patidar’s story more interesting, he was not auctioned off this season and joined the team as a substitute after leaving when a player called Luvnith Sisodia was injured.
If Sisodia was doing well, RCB wouldn’t have needed the services of Patidar, who stood up 65,000 people at Eden Gardens.
He and Dinesh Karthik (37 on 23 balls) put together an unbroken partnership of 92 runs on 41 balls as RCB scored 84 runs over the final five overs to back up the tally.
First, he showed glimpses of his batting skills to slam Krunal Pandya for three limits and a six inside the power play to eclipse Kohli in a 66-point partnership from 46 balls.
After reaching his half century in 28 balls, he took another 21 balls to reach his first hundred in T20.
He arrived at the landmark firing Mohsin Khan on the square leg with good timing from the bat that summed up his effortless stay in the crease.
RCB lost three key wickets from a well-tuned Kohli, Maxwell and Mahipal Lomror in the middle to see their run rate drop.
In-form Dinesh Karthik, who has played the perfect finisher for RCB this season, also survived some anxious moments against Ravi Bishnoi to start.
But Patidar turned things around in the final against Bishnoi when he hit the “googly-man” for three straight sixes and two fours in an over that read 1 6 4 6 4 6.
A sloppy LSG also helped his cause as Patidar, who got reprieves on 59, 72 and 93. After a 40-minute delayed start due to bad weather, Lucknow got off to a superb start when Mohsin got the skipper from RCB Faf du Plessis for a golden duck in the first plus.
Having lost their skipper early, it was time to wait as Kohil and Patidar opted for a wait and watch policy before the latter unleashed against Krunal Pandya in the final round of the power play.
Patidar slammed Krunal for three bounds and a six in an over that gave 20 runs to make up for their slow start and a 52/1 cruise in six overs.


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