regular-article-logo Tuesday, 21 May 2024

RCB sniff a chance to vanquish Rajasthan Royals

On Wednesday, Rajat Patidar’s 112 not out gave them another lifeline while pitting them against Rajasthan Royals in Qualifier 2

Our Bureau Published 27.05.22, 01:39 AM
Faf du Plessis

Faf du Plessis File Photo

The stars are aligned in favour of the Royal Challengers Bangalore this time it seems. If you consider the circumstances which led to the franchise first making the playoffs and then winning the Eliminator at Eden Gardens, such an assumption will look meaningful.

Last weekend, RCB were on the brink of elimination, needing Mumbai Indians to knock Delhi Capitals out. The Rohit Sharma-led franchise did them that favour after Tim David played a blinder (34 off 11) to push the Capitals out of the race.


On Wednesday, Rajat Patidar’s 112 not out gave them another lifeline while pitting them against Rajasthan Royals in Qualifier 2 in Ahmedabad on Friday.

RCB are only a step away from featuring in the final. For their fans, one can also say they are two wins away from claiming their maiden IPL title.

Even the RCB players are sniffing a real chance. “The best thing is that we have one day and we play again. We are so excited and happy with how things have gone. Hopefully, two more games and we all can celebrate,” Virat Kohli said after their victory at the Eden.

Both the teams will face the challenge of having to get used to the conditions at the Motera stadium. Since 2021, teams batting first have won six games while teams batting second have won 11 games in T20 cricket at the venue.

The Faf du Plessis-Kohli-Glenn Maxwell trio contributed 34 during RCB’s innings at the Eden but Patidar and Dinesh Karthik raced them to 207. Karthik though will be wary of Yuzvendra Chahal, who has dismissed him thrice in 10 innings.

While that will serve as a positive for the Royals, Prasidh Krishna’s form could be a worry. The pacer took 10 wickets in his first eight matches at an economy rate of 7.8 but since then has managed only five in seven games, with his economy rate shooting up to nine. During their loss in Qualifier 1, David Miller struck three consecutive sixes off Prasidh in the last over to seal it for Gujarat Titans.

Similarly, Wanindu Hasaranga’s contest with Royals captain Sanju Samson will be interesting. The RCB leg-spinner has dismissed Samson five times in six T20 innings while conceding only 18 runs off 23 balls.

While Hasaranga has shown courage even when he has been taken to the cleaners, Harshal Patel has been the go-to pacer in the slog overs.

Jos Buttler’s brief slowdown against the Titans did affect their chances in Qualifier 1 as also the lack of enough batting power in the middle order beyond Shimron Hetmyer. But Friday will be another match with the players unwilling to repeat their mistakes.

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