It's Qualifier 2 and we were in for a treat as the two strong teams, the Rajasthan Royals and the Royal Challengers Bangalore tried their luck by giving their everything as a must-win in this game would take them to the mega final against the Gujarat Titans on Sunday. The in-form Rajat Patidar is a huge asset for the RCB while the Rajasthan Royals heavily depended upon their all-rounders to perform.
It was all set for a nail-biting game at Ahmedabad between two top-quality teams. Rajasthan Royals won the toss and elected to bowl first. RCB has entered a dream game for them but that dream was scattered through the flawed opening as Virat Kohli had presented a big breakthrough to the Rajasthan Royals through his quick dismissal. However, armed with a strong batting line-up, the RCB fans hoped for a massive score on board.
Virat Kohli's early dismissal has added to the lineup of disappointments. Faf du Plessis scored 25 runs and Maxwell was gone for 24. On the other side of the crease, Rajat Patidar continued his good form, scoring yet another half-century with 4 fours and 3 sixes. RCB started losing wickets quickly in the middle. The team which was at 130 for 3, lost 8 wickets for 154, which was a huge disaster for the team.
Prasidh Krishna and Obed McCoy were fantastic with the ball for Rajasthan picking up three wickets each. Finally, RCB posted a total of 157 runs in their 20 overs by losing eight wickets. The Rajasthan Royals didn't seem to have any pressure at all, right from the beginning. They were easy in scoring runs and smashing boundaries and the RCB bowlers were helpless without being able to build any kind of pressure with the ball.
From the beginning of the chase, Rajasthan Royals had greatly built a winning momentum while RCB didn't play any spoilsport on the chasers, who were apparently advancing to the finals. Jos Buttler was the man of the Royals this season and he proved it once again, thanks to the RCB bowlers. Buttler played sensational innings and scored yet another ton in this crucial game.
In what has become a stupendous hundred, Buttler has scored 106 runs off 60 balls with ten fours and six sixes. Interestingly, this has been recorded as Buttler's fourth century in this series and he has confirmed his win of the Orange Cap, which will be awarded to the highest run-scorer in the series. Buttler has so far scored 824 runs in sixteen matches with one more to go.
With good support from Jaiswal and Sanju Samson, the Rajasthan Royals won the royal battle in style by 7 wickets and entered the finals of this year's IPL. Rajasthan will be taking on mighty Gujarat Titans on Sunday where the former hopes to clinch the trophy for the second time, after 14 years. On the other hand, winning an IPL trophy still remains a dream for the RCB yet again as the Plessis fleet is now out of the series, which has broken the ardent RCB fans, who relished the journey of the team this season that kept the chances of victory in light.
RCB has entered the finals three times before but lost all of them. Sadly, the journey of setbacks is still on them as their wait for the title continues. The month-long IPL series is still one match away to witness the champions. For driving his team to a spectacular victory, Jos Buttler was awarded the Player of the Match. Speaking at the post-match presentation ceremony, Buttler said, "I came into the season with very low expectations, but with a lot of energy and excitement and to be stood here now and have the season I had with such a great team and get us into the finals is incredibly exciting."
"I had a tournament of two halves. I had some really honest conversations with some close people around me, Kumar Sangakkara and Trevor Penney. I was feeling a bit of pressure, getting distracted and I was trying to suppress it and it was only until a week ago or so I opened up inside and talking about that made me feel a lot better going into Kolkata and that innings gave me the confidence that helped today. I am always trying to play the game, what is the game asking me to do any particular time and what skill set do I have to try and use on that particular day", Buttler added.
He further said, "I came today so excited and the thought of playing in front of 100 thousand people, incredible support, the fantastic stadium, and brilliant game of cricket. I just enjoyed today so much. To be able to get the opportunity to go and play in the final of the biggest T20 tournament in the world is incredibly exciting." Remembering the late legendary cricketer and former Rajasthan skipper Shane Warne, Buttler said, "Shane Warne is such an influential figure for the Rajasthan Royals and having led the team to success in the first season, we will miss him dearly, but we know he is looking down on us with a lot of pride today."
RR skipper Sanju Samson said, "Very grateful to have someone like Jos, and the way he is batting, touch-wood, we have one more game to go. I was very young and it was the first IPL season and I remember playing an under-16 game somewhere in Kerala and I remember watching the last game with my friends and remember that last run where Shane Warne and Sohail Tanvir hit the run and they were running, it was a very vague memory which I have." The final fight between Gujarat Titans and Rajasthan Royals will be hosted by Ahmedabad on Sunday.