The Rajasthan Royals (RR) marched to the finals of the TATA Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 campaign with a comprehensive 7-wicket win over the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) on Friday at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.
A spectacular batting display by Jos Buttler, who slammed his fourth century of the season, powered RR to a clinical 7-wicket win and sealed their spot for their final.
Chasing 158 to win, RR were off to a flier after Yashasvi Jaiswal whacked two sixes and a four in the first over. Jos Buttler at the other end took Siraj to the cleaners and punched two fours and a massive six.
RR added 19 off the fifth over after Buttler attacked Shahbaz Ahmed’s spin in the 5th over. Josh Hazlewood provided the opening wicket for RCB after Jaiswal was caught at point but RR were going strong with 67/1 at the end of the powerplay.
Buttler creamed a four to reach his fifty and was joined by skipper Sanju Samson. The duo continued the easy flow of runs and RR were comfortably placed at the halfway stage at 103/1 after 10 overs.
The fifty partnership was up for the second wicket before the RR skipper was out stumped against Hasaranga.
The equation was down to run-a-ball for RR as Devdutt Padikkal joined the well-set Buttler at the crease. After a couple of quiet overs, Buttler clubbed two sixes against Hasaranga to bring the equation down to 18 off 24.
While the RR opener moved into the nineties, Hazlewood scalped his second wicket to dismiss Padikkal, who was caught behind in the 17th over.
Buttler reached his fourth century of the season and finished the game in style with a maximum as RR successfully chased down the target with 11 balls to spare.
Earlier, RCB were put in to bat first as both teams remained unchanged. Virat Kohli hit the first six of the innings before the RCB opener was caught behind off Trent Boult’s bowling.
Rajat Patidar, who joined skipper Faf du Plessis at the crease, played two exceptional shots for four in the final over of the powerplay and was given a reprieve as RCB moved to 46/1.
The fifty partnership was up for the second wicket but RR kept things tight with the ball as RCB were placed at 74/1 at the halfway mark.
Obed McCoy put an end to the partnership after dismissing du Plessis, who was caught at short-third man. New batter Glenn Maxwell made an immediate impact with a straight six against Ashwin.
The next over produced 15 runs after Maxwell crunched a four and six each against Chahal. However Obed McCoy’s brilliant catch in the outfield off Boult put an end to Maxwell’s quick-fire knock.
Patidar reached his fifty in style with a maximum but the explosive right-handed batter was caught at long-off in an attempt to clear the ropes against Ashwin.
McCoy scalped his second wicket to dismiss Mahipal Lomror and RCB were 146/5 with two overs to go. Prasidh Krishna dismissed Karthik and Wanindu Hasaranga on consecutive deliveries in the penultimate over.
Only three runs were conceded in the final over of the innings, bowled by Obed McCoy, who took his third wicket in the form of Harshal Patel as RCB posted 157/8 in the first innings.
Brief Scores: Rajasthan Royals 161/3 (Jos Buttler 106*, Sanju Samson 23; Josh Hazlewood 2-23) beat Royal Challengers Bangalore 157/8 (Rajat Patidar 58, Faf du Plessis 25; Prasidh Krishna 3-22) by 7 wickets.