The Gujarat Titans have entered the finals of the IPL in style with a victory in the first qualifier game. Who is going to take on the Titans in the finals? We are a match away to know the second contender in the finals. In the Eliminator round that was held on Wednesday, Royal Challengers Bangalore took on the Lucknow Super Giants.
The winner of this game would have to face the Rajasthan Royals and win in order to qualify for the finals and the loser would go home. Lucknow banks on the all-round performance of their team while the RCB relies on the rejuvenated Kohli. The crucial clash was hosted by Eden Gardens and Lucknow won the toss and bowled first. Faf du Plessis was dismissed for 0 and it was a shocker for the RCB to start with.
Kohli managed to score 25 before he was caught by Mohsin Khan. Maxwell and Lomror couldn't score much and there is one man to talk about here. Rajat Patidar, the young talent started off his innings with a blast, showed maturity in the middle when his team was losing quick wickets and ended it on a high. He scored a terrific century (112) with 12 fours and 7 sixes, playing one of the most memorable innings in IPL history.
Dinesh Karthik gave him great support scoring 37 runs from 23 balls. In the end, RCB posted a mammoth total of 207 runs on the board in their 20 overs by losing four wickets. Lucknow was never going to give it up easily how much ever the target was. They lost Quinton de Kock early but that didn't stop them. Vohra did have a good little partnership with KL Rahul before he was dismissed. Rahul was stronger and determined than ever to seal a victory for his team.
He smashed 79 runs and was well supported by Deepak Hooda who scored 45 runs. At one point, it looked like the Lucknow would make it but the RCB bowlers pulled it back in the death overs. Eventually, Bangalore has clinched a victory by 14 runs and escalated their chances to lift their maiden IPL trophy.
Speaking at the post-match presentation ceremony, RCB's skipper Faf du Plessis has said, "Today was a special day. The guys put in a special performance. Over the moon. For a young guy to play like he did. The way he celebrated also tells you he has a good head on his shoulders. His (Patidar's) hundred was one of the best I have seen in the IPL. Our bowlers were clear and calm and that was good. He has got all the shots. Every single time he attacks, he transfers the pressure back on the opposition."
"It is important to celebrate this despite something big is coming up. We were very happy as a group. As a group, we needed some calm presence. We didn't feel like it was a big game. Everyone was calm and relaxed. Harshal is the joker in the pack. A special card I can pick. He bowls the important overs. The second last one over from his changed the game for us", Plessis added. Lucknow's captain KL Rahul has cited that the team has let itself down due to which it has lost.
Rahul said, "I think its quite obvious - the reasons why we didn't win. We let ourselves down in the field. Dropping easy catches never helps. The difference was obviously Patidar playing such a knock. When someone in the top three scores a hundred, more often the team wins. They fielded really well and we were poor. We will take back a lot of positives. It's a new franchise. We have made a lot of mistakes, every team does that."
He further said, "Have to try and come back stronger. It's a young team. They will learn from their mistakes, go back home and try and be better players. Mohsin showed everybody how good he is and what skills he possesses. As he grows with confidence, he will be able to clock speeds which are much higher. He will learn and develop a few more skills hopefully by next season". RCB will be taking on Rajasthan Royals in the Qualifier two on Friday and the winner of this match will be battling with the Gujarat Titans in the finals.