IPL Eliminator: Patidar emerges as a hero after an entertaining knock!

Youth and experienced combined together to deliver for Royal Challengers Bangalore as they thrashed debutant team Lucknow Super Giants by 14 runs here at the Eden Gardens in the Eliminator of the ongoing IPL on Wednesday. Batting young gun Rajat Patidar took the aerial route, hammering LSG bowlers for seven sixes and 12 fours en route to a masterclass 112* off just 54 balls and was ably supported by stalwart finisher Dinesh Karthik, who seems to have aged younger this season, as he whipped 37 off 23 to boost RCB to 207/4 in 20 overs.

Image Credits: iplt20.com

It wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows for RCB, however, as LSG’s young pace sensation Mohsin Khan snapped up skipper Faf du Plessis for a golden duck, cramping him up in the golden channel outside off as he nicked one behind. Mohsin went for 25 in his four, adding to his growing reputation as a genuine pace threat with his variations and game-awareness this season. Former RCB skipper Virat Kohli, coming off a brilliant half-century from the last game, failed to get off the blocks, getting out for a scratchy 25 off 24 even as Patidar was going great guns from the other side. Glenn Maxwell (9 off 10) and Mahipal Lomror (14 off 9) came croppers too, but Patidar found a good ally in Karthik, as the duo smacked 92 off the last 41 balls for RCB. Patidar’s range of shots found expression in an over against Ravi Bishnoi as he stroked 26 off it, bludgeoning two fours and three towering sixes. The belter of a track that Eden Gardens is, it made scoring even easier against an increasingly tiring LSG attack which had no reply to the RCB pair as they made a mockery of the otherwise effective bowling unit.

Lucknow had been a majorly dominant side during most of the IPL this season, and they were not to go down without a fight. Skipper KL Rahul led from the front with a 58-ball 79 even as he lost his fabled opening partner in Quinton de Kock (6 off 5) cheaply. In fact, LSG seemed to be ahead of their counterparts for a lot of the second innings as Rahul, and Deepak Hooda(45 off 26, 1×4, 4×6) scored at a brisk rate and kept RCB on their toes.

RCB’s lead spinner Wanindu Hasaranga got the much-needed wicket of Hooda for the Challengers, castling him in the 15th over and bringing them back in the game. A fiery burst from last season’s Purple Cap-winner Harshal Patel, bowling a spell identical to Mohsin Khan’s with figures of 1-25 in 4 overs, kept the LSG batters in check toward the death overs and eventually left them short by 14 runs.

RCB now face off against Rajasthan Royals, who had been taken to task by Gujarat Titans in Qualifier 1, in Qualifier 2 to try and upstage the fiery batting side led by the likes of Jos Buttler and a sound bowling department headed by Yuzvendra Chahal. Virat Kohli’s patchy form is a cause of concern for the Bangalore side, but their ability to pull together as a unit and deliver consistently might just prove to be enough to get them across the line this time. Stay Tuned with The Sportsway for more updates!

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