Phenomenal Patidar moves RCB a win away from IPL final

·2-min read

Rajat Patidar's remarkable unbeaten 112 kept Royal Challengers Bangalore's hopes of Indian Premier League glory alive as Lucknow Super Giants superb debut campaign came to an end.

Having seen fellow newcomers Gujarat Titans progress to the final, the Super Giants were looking to take a step towards joining them in Wednesday's eliminator.

Yet they were undone by an astonishing innings from Patidar, who propelled RCB to a 14-run win.

Patidar raced to a 28-ball half-century and a 49-ball hundred, his innings comprising of 12 fours and seven sixes and lifting RCB to 207-4.

Dinesh Karthik provided late support, hitting five fours and a six for his unbeaten 37, ensuring a hugely imposing target that proved to beyond the Super Giants.

Lucknow's chase was extremely admirable and saw them rack up 14 sixes at Eden Gardens in their 193-6.

Captain KL Rahul predictably led the charge with 79 - surpassing 600 runs for the season.

However, when he scooped Josh Hazlewood to short fine leg and the same bowler had Krunal Pandya caught and bowled from the next delivery, the Super Giants had a mountain to climb heading into the final over on 184-6.

Harshal Patel made sure RCB's commanding position was not let slip as he delivered at the death to keep Evin Lewis and Dushmantha Chameera from engineering a late turnaround, sending them through to Qualifier 2 against Rajasthan Royals with a place in the final on the line.

Patidar an unlikely hero

Patidar was unsold at the 2022 auction, with RCB signing him at the lowest possible price as an injury replacement midway through the competition.

His acquisition now looks extremely astute after Patidar delivered the fastest IPL hundred since Mayank Agarwal's 45-ball century in September 2020.

Hazlewood topples Super Giants

Hazlewood had sent down three wides in the 19th over before finding his accuracy to claim the wickets of Rahul and Krunal.

His team-mate Harshal bowled 11 dot balls in his 1-25 and removed the dangerous Marcus Stoinis prior to Hazlewood's key salvo and RCB will need that duo to replicate their performances if they are to progress to the final.

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