|| CF DESK ||
The Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) sealed their spot in Qualifier 2 of the TATA Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 campaign with a 14-run win over the Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) on Wednesday at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata.
Rajat Patidar’s incredible maiden IPL century and Josh Hazlewood’s crucial three-wicket haul powered RCB to a 14-run victory in a high-scoring thriller.
Chasing a challenging target of 208, LSG lost Quinton de Kock’s wicket in the very first over after the opener was caught inside the circle off Mohammed Siraj’s bowling.
Manan Vohra upped the scoring rate with two sixes before the right-handed batter was dismissed by Josh Hazlewood. LSG moved to 67-2 at the end of the powerplay after skipper KL Rahul smashed a four followed by two maximums against Siraj.
Deepak Hooda joined the LSG skipper in the middle and the duo stitched a vital partnership for the third wicket to keep the side alive in the chase as they were placed at 89-2 at the halfway mark.
Rahul reached his half-century in style with a maximum and maintained the scoring rate as LSG required 83 off the final six overs.
Hooda tonked two sixes against Hasaranga but the RCB spinner had the last laugh as he rattled the stumps to end Hooda’s fine knock of 45.
New batter Marcus Stoinis was off the mark with a huge maximum while Rahul switched gears to add two more sixes which brought the equation down to 41 off 18.
Harshal Patel claimed the crucial wicket of Stoinis which helped RCB pull things back as LSG needed 33 off 12.
Hazlewood bowled a sensational penultimate over and claimed two wickets on consecutive deliveries including the massive breakthrough of Rahul as the LSG skipper was caught on 79.
Harshal Patel successfully defended 24 runs in the final over and RCB won the game by 14 runs and sealed their spot in Qualifier 2.
Earlier, RCB, who were put in to bat first, made one change Mohammed Siraj replaced Siddharth Kaul in the eleven.
Meanwhile Krunal Pandya and Dushmantha Chameera were named in LSG’s eleven. Mohsin Khan made an impact straight away after RCB skipper Faf du Plessis was caught behind on the first delivery he faced.
LSG pacers added pressure with the new ball but opener Virat Kohli and Rajat Patidar batted steadily and moved RCB to 52/1 at the end of the powerplay. Patidar whacked three fours and a six in the 6th over, which produced 20 runs.
Avesh Khan put an end to the fifty-run partnership after Kohli was caught at third-man. RCB were 84-2 at the halfway stage as Patidar, who kept the boundaries flowing, reached his half-century.Glenn
Maxwell struck his first six straight down the ground but the RCB batter failed to clear the ropes against Krunal Pandya in the next over and was caught at deep square leg.
RCB didn’t lose momentum as the next over produced 16 runs after Mahipal Lomror creamed consecutive fours.
Bishnoi claimed his first wicket in the form of Lomror, who was caught inside the circle. Patidar took Bishnoi to the cleaners after the right-handed batter hammered three sixes and two fours in the 16th over.
Dinesh Karthik, who was given a reprieve in the 15th over, creamed three fours against Avesh Khan while Patidar crunched a maximum to bring up a sensational ton off just 49 deliveries.
The 200 was up for RCB after 34 runs were conceded in the final two overs courtesy an excellent striking display by the Patidar-Kartik duo as RCB posted 207/4 in the first innings.