Rajat Patildar who joined the Royal Challengers Bangalore squad as a mid-season replacement, became only the fifth player to score a century in the IPL playoffs to help seal a 14-run victory over Lucknow Super Giants at the Eden Gardens, Kolkata.
Rajat Patildar etched his name into Indian Premier League (IPL) playoff folklore with an incredible century as he fired Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) into Qualifier 2 with a 14-run victory over Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) at the Eden Gardens, Kolkata on Wednesday, May 25.
Patildar went unsold at the IPL 2022 Auctions and only joined the RCB squad as a replacement for the injured Luvnith Sisodia in the first week of April. He however ensured fans will long remember his flamboyant innings of an unbeaten 112 runs off 54 balls, becoming only the fifth player to score a century in the IPL playoffs.
Patildar smacked 12 fours and 7 sixes and along with Dinesh Karthik (37 not-out off 23 balls) added 92 runs off the final 41 balls to help RCB post a mammoth total of 207/4 after being invited to bat.
KL Rahul (79 off 58 balls) and Deepak Hooda (45 off 26 balls) tried to script a comeback for Lucknow but they were ultimately kept at bay by some disciplined bowling from RCB who drew curtains on an impressive campaign from the IPL debutants.
LSG’s run-chase got off to a horror start as Mohammed Siraj (1/41) got the centurion from the last game, Quinton de Kock (6), caught out in the very first over.
Manan Vohra (19 off 11 balls) tried to raise the tempo but was rushed into the pull shot by Josh Hazlewood in the 5th over as Shahbaz Ahmed took a superb diving catch at midwicket.
Meanwhile, Rahul finally got going in the 6th over with a four and 2 sixes against Siraj to help LSG reach 62/2 at the end of the powerplay.
Rahul and Hooda helped steady LSG with a healthy 96-run partnership off 61 balls which was finally broken when they decided to pick up the pace.
Hooda smashed 2 sixes against Wanindu Hasaranga (1/42) in the 15th over but it was the Sri Lankan who got his revenge off the 4th delivery as he castled Hooda (45 off 26 balls) with a slower googly.
With 41 runs needed off the final 18 balls, Harshal Patel gave away just 8 runs in the 18th over while also getting the dangerous Marcus Stoinis (9 off 9 balls) caught at deep extra cover.
Hazlewood (3/43) then ended all LSG hopes as he dismissed KL Rahul (79 off 58 balls) and Krunal Pandya (0) off consecutive deliveries in the 19th over while giving away just 9 runs.
Harshal (1/25) then wrapped up a superb performance as he successfully defended 24 runs in the final over to help seal a 14-run victory and fire RCB into Qualifier 2 where they'll take on Rajasthan Royals for a spot in the IPL 2022 Final.
Earlier at the Toss, Rahul opted to bowl first as Lucknow made two changes with Krunal and Dushmantha Chameera replacing K Gowtham and Jason Holder. Bangalore made just one change with Siraj recovering from injury to take his spot back from Siddarth Kaul.
Mohsin Khan gave LSG a superb start as he sent Faf du Plessis (0) back on a ‘Golden Duck’ with the RCB captain getting an edge back to the keeper in the first over.
However, that wicket opened the door for Rajat Patildar to walk out at no.3 and play one of the most memorable knocks in the IPL playoff history.
Patildar first made his intentions known with back-to-back boundaries against Avesh Khan in the 5th over before smashing 4, 4, 6 and 4 off consecutive balls against Krunal Pandya in the 6th over to help RCB post 52/1 at the end of the powerplay.
Kohli (25 off 24 balls) meanwhile couldn’t replicate his partner’s aggressive approach and was dismissed in the 9th over when looking to play the upper cut against Avesh.
Patidar brought up his fifty off just 28 balls in the 11th over but Maxwell (9 off 10 balls) perished on the very next delivery as he pulled a short ball from Krunal straight to deep square leg. Mahipal Lomror (14 off 9 balls) departed in the 14th over as he slapped a full delivery from Ravi Bishnoi towards cover.
However, master-finisher Dinesh Karthik then walked out to join Patildar in the middle as together the duo added 92 runs off 41 balls.
They were helped in part by the LSG fielders as Rahul dropped Karthik on 3 in the 15th over and Hooda gave Patildar a second-life in the very next over.
Patildar made the most of his second opportunity as he smashed 6, 4, 6, 4 and 6 against Bishnoi (1/45) in the 16th over, ruining the spinner’s bowling figures after he had only conceded 18 runs in the first 3 overs of his spell.
Karthik scored just 6 runs off the first 10 balls but joined the party in the 17th over as he smacked 3 back-to-back fours against Avesh.
Meanwhile, Mohsin (1/25) wrapped up a superb spell by giving away just 8 runs in the 18th over. However, six off those runs came as Patildar pulled a length delivery high over midwicket to bring up his century from 49 balls.
Both Karthik (37 not-out off 23 balls) and Patildar (112 not-out off 54 balls) smashed a six and four each against Chameera (0/54) in the penultimate over before taking 13 runs against Avesh (1/44) in the final over to help RCB post 207/4.