12:47am Ahead of the playoffs, everybody knew that Super Giants are pitted against teams who are the only ones they hadn’t won against in the league stage. And quite true to the script, the Royal Challengers ensured that it stays that way, ending the newbies’ first season at the Eliminator. I won’t miss the small opportunity of slipping in the fact that Karn Sharma and his stars are yet again smiling as he’s been an IPL winner in 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2021 and is once again with the side that has made it to the second qualifier. Right then! That’s it from me, Sudarshanan, on behalf of Sidharth, whose report you can read here. Tomorrow, you can join us for the third and final league game of the Women’s T20 Challenge, before we move on to the Qualifier 2. Hope you enjoyed it today. Ciao, aficionados!
Player of the match, Rajat Patidar: I have been timing the ball and that was the focus, instead of powering the ball. In the last over of the powerplay, when I was facing Krunal Pandya, the way I could execute my plans, I felt I could score big today. My focus was about cashing in on the opportunity and looked to play with the straight bat and time it. I don’t come under pressure even after facing dots because of the ability I know I have. I wasn’t picked up in the auction but was involved in my practice and that helped.
Faf du Plessis, RCB captain: Today was a special day. I am over the moon with the way Rajat played. In a match like today, it’s a bit more pressure. The way he played and celebrated his hundred, tells me that he’s got a good head on his shoulder. I thought our bowlers were clear and calm. Rajat has got all the shots and the way he attacks… Every time we are under a little bit of pressure, the way he comes and attacks. It is important to use the occasion and celebrate for the hard work we have done today. The most important thing was we were high on emotion and were very happy. I felt that we were very high and we come down to keep clarity and be calm for the game. (Conversations with Harshal) He is the joker in the pack, isn’t he? He is a high-pressure time bowler and every single time I am under pressure I can go to him. He told me that I want the pressure over, which was one of my first conversations with him.
12:27am This is a game that has the Rajat Patidar tag on it. We heard Rahul praise him and that knock is what helped RCB post a score in excess of 200, which eventually was just enough. Not picked up in the auction, he almost came out of syllabus for the teams, none more so than LSG. Even when the big guns were being dismissed around him, Patidar kept going and scored his first IPL hundred, and that too in the playoff. That Dinesh Karthik could find his mojo along with some luck helped at the death.
Rahul, among many other things, should perhaps go and revisit his innings. Yes, eventually they fell short by just 14 but for most part of the chase, Super Giants were doing catch up with their captain going steadily than a bit more intently. No doubt, the volume of runs he’s been getting season after season shows his consistency. But it is coming at the cost of there being a pattern in his team’s eventual losses.
Deepak Hooda played a good little hand in the middle and that Rahul-Hooda partnership was what threatened to end RCB’s dreams tonight. But Harshal Patel ensured that RCB inch another step closer to ‘Ee sala cup namde’! Presentations in a bit.
akshaychaudhari: “Give some credits to hasaranga as well. He’s saved 10-14 runs atleast” Oh yes! How well did Hasaranga bowl and field tonight. Just threw himself on the field at various positions and delivered. Superb.
Rudresh: “Don’t like the critisism of Rahul who took the game deep. I guess things didn’t go right from the beginning, Holder should have been in the side and the other batters needed to connect 3 out of 17.”
Dhaval : “I feel LSG should have backed Holder. He’s a big match player and could have made an impact. “
Harshal Patel, RCB bowler: Hand’s fine. It has healed superficially but there’s an issue inside. It is a bit sore every time I stretch my thumb. There were a lot of thoughts in my minds throughout the season because it was in Mumbai, which is batter-friendly. I thought about focusing more on my hard lengths and mixing it up with the slower one. My hard lengths have gone at seven and a half per over, so it has worked out well. I had a plan to bowl wide to Stoinis but it didn’t come off well. It worked against Livingstone against Punjab but not today. So i went back to what worked for me. It feels exceptional to have qualified. Can’t describe the emotions during the MI-DC game.
KL Rahul, LSG captain: It’s quite obvious the reasons why we didn’t win the game. We let ourselves down in the field. The difference between the teams what Patidar’s knock. When a player from the top ends up playing a good knock, the team ends up winning. It’s a new franchise. We have made a lot of mistakes but you’ve got to learn from it and come back stronger. We are a young team, the group of under 25, has done well in patches. Mohsin Khan has showed everybody how good he is and what skill he possesses. It’s his first season and is important to take confidence from this and go home and work harder. He’ll clock up more speeds and deliver better next year.
12:16am Eden Gardens roars as Royal Challengers celebrate their progress, knocking out Super Giants. This has been a superb outing with the ball from RCB, and they have to thank Harshal Patel. What a show of death bowling it was from him. He is still not a 100% with his right hand and is shaking hands with everybody with his left hand. A win to savour for RCB as this has come without their big guns contributing much. The smiles on Kohi, Maxwell, Faf and Karthik’s faces tells a story. Shows what it means to everyone at RCB. We’ll revisit this game a bit more, after a couple of player interviews.