RR End RCB’s Streak, Face SRH in Qualifier 2

RR End RCB’s Comeback Run, Set to Face SRH in Qualifier 2 at Chennai…reports Asian Lite News

Ahmedabad, May 22 (IANS) Rajasthan Royals went up and down in their chase of 173 but finally managed to end their five-match winless streak with a four-wicket win over Royal Challengers Bengaluru in the IPL 2024 Eliminator at the Narendra Modi Stadium on Wednesday.

With the result, RR have ended RCB’s dream comeback run and six-game winning after being at the bottom of the points table to now set up a clash with Sunrisers Hyderabad in Qualifier 2 at Chennai. The winner of the Qualifier 2 clash at Chennai will face Kolkata Knight Riders in the final on Sunday.

After Avesh Khan (3-44) and Ravichandran Ashwin (2-19) starred in a disciplined bowling effort to restrict RCB to 172/8, Yashasvi Jaiswal top-scored with 45, followed by Riyan Parag (36), Shimron Hetmyer (26) and Rovman Powell (16 not out) propelled RR to complete the chase in 19 overs.

Chasing 173, Jaiswal survived on five when Cameron Green dropped a difficult chance at first slip. After that, Jaiswal hit three fours off the next four balls against Yash Dayal, before he and Tom Kohler-Cadmore took three boundaries collectively off Mohammed Siraj.

Kohler-Cadmore earned a reprieve when Glenn Maxwell shelled a simple catch in the deep and went on to take two fours off Dayal. But the batter fell to Lockie Ferguson in the last over of Power-play when his off-stump was rattled by a slower yorker.

Jaiswal and Sanju Samson collectively took three boundaries off Swapnil Singh, but the former fell when his attempt to scoop took a glove edge behind against Green. In the next over, Samson stepped out against Karn Sharma and missed a wide ball to be stumped easily. There was more cheer for RCB as Virat Kohli executed a superb throw from the deep after running to his left from deep square leg and had a casual Dhruv Jurel run-out.

Hetmyer began to calm RR’s nerves with a six over wide long-on off Green before Parag hit a lovely inside-out six over cover and backed away to ramp a short ball over the third-man boundary for four more, as 17 runs came off the 16th over. Hetmyer drove and slashed Dayal for two fours, as the equation for RR became 19 off 18 balls.

But Parag fell for 36 off 26 balls after he missed a big heave off Siraj and saw his middle stump being uprooted. Three balls later, Hetmyer went for a flick, but the leading edge was caught by cover running back and clinging on for a superb catch, as RCB brought a twist in the tale.

With 13 runs needed off 12 balls, Powell toe-ended a square drive and edged in the third-man region to collect consecutive fours off Ferguson. Powell finished off the chase with a gentle loft down the ground to ensure RR have a shot at entering the final, while RCB were left heartbroken.

Previously, on a red soil pitch, Trent Boult (1/16) built pressure with a tidy opening spell, before Ashwin bowled a delightful spell to ensure RCB weren’t let off the hook. Avesh then bounced back from giving 30 runs in his first two overs by conceding only 14 runs in his last two overs and taking three wickets as RR gave away just 47 runs in the last five overs.

Electing to bowl first, Boult kept things tight when he found early swing and denied Kohli as well as du Plessis room to hit boundaries. Kohli began the early fightback by picking a four off Sandeep Sharma before du Plessis closed the second over by thumping a six down the ground.

Kohli hooked Avesh for six before du Plessis scooped and smashed him for two fours. Boult was rewarded for his perseverance when du Plessis miscued to deep mid-wicket, where Powell dived forward to complete a superb low catch.

Kohli slapped and whipped Sandeep for two boundaries in the last over of power-play, but his attempt to slog-sweep Yuzvendra Chahal through the short square boundary resulted in him picking out deep mid-wicket to perfection.

Green muscled Chahal for six and four respectively, before Rajat Patidar was dropped on five by Jurel at long-on off Ashwin. The duo would take a four each off Avesh before Ashwin bounced back by removing the duo in the 13th over. While Green miscued off a carrom ball to a backtracking cover, Maxwell holed out to long-on to fall for a golden duck.

Patidar broke the shackles by striking three quick boundaries, before miscuing one to mid-off against Avesh. Dinesh Karthik survived a contentious LBW call on review off Avesh but didn’t produce any heroics as he miscued a good short ball from the pacer to cover.

Mahipal Lomror hit four boundaries in his 17-ball 32 before slicing to deep point to become Avesh’s third scalp of the match, followed by Karn slicing to sweeper cover on the last ball off Sandeep, as 172 wasn’t enough for RCB to continue their dream run.

Brief scores:

Royal Challengers Bengaluru 172/8 in 20 overs (Rajat Patidar 34, Virat Kohli 33; Avesh Khan 3-44, Ravichandran Ashwin 2-19) lost to Rajasthan Royals 174/6 in 19 overs (Yashasvi Jaiswal 45, Riyan Parag 36; Mohammed Siraj 2-33, Karn Sharma 1-19) by four wickets

ALSO READ: KKR Storm Into IPL Final with Dominant Win Over SRH

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