Sparkling Patidar 112 knocks LSG out

Royal Challengers Bangalore 207 for 4 (Patidar 112*, Karthik 37*) beat Lucknow Super Giants 193 for 6 (Rahul 79, Hooda 45, Hazlewood 3-43) by 14 runs

Royal Challengers Bangalore have found one more reason to believe in destiny. Rajat Patidar, a Royal Challengers regular who was let go this year, came in mid-season as cover for an injury to Luvnith Sisodia and scored a sensational unbeaten 112 off 54 to propel the team into the second Qualifier. There was an element of fate to Patidar’s innings: he had already done a grand job but since he was dropped in the 16th over, he scored 40 off 14 balls. His partner in carnage, Dinesh Karthik, too survived a close lbw call and a dropped catch on two before putting together 92 in 6.5 overs.

Lucknow Super Giants will rue those dropped catches because they came close in the end. Almost throughout the innings their worm stayed ahead of Royal Challengers’, but 84 in the last five overs was too tough an act to follow. The captain KL Rahul’s innings will divide opinion: he stayed conservative till the ask reached 99 off seven overs, and his jump from 48 off 42 to 79 off 58 proved to be not enough.

Amid all the carnage, Super Giants’ Mohsin Khan and Royal Challengers’ Harshal Patel returned identical and remarkable figures of 4-0-25-1.

Mohsin with the perfect start

The uncapped find of the season, Mohsin, started with a superb over. He drew respect out of Virat Kohli before getting Faf du Plessis for a golden duck with one that shaped in in the air and then seamed away to take the edge. As has been the template, Royal Challengers set up a base to try to go big in the last two overs of the powerplay, but were 24 for 1 in four.

Patidar announces himself

With Kohli expected to set himself up for a long innings, Patidar took all the risks in the last two overs of the powerplay. Avesh Khan threw hard lengths at him in the fifth over, but he managed to put two of those way for fours. But it was in the sixth over that Patidar really opened up. Krunal Pandya had already bowled one over without a boundary, but Patidar was not going to let the last over of the powerplay go. After he went over mid-on twice, Pandya sent the man back only for Patidar to go over the now-in mid-off. He was now toying with the field as he followed it up with a four along the ground through the covers. Royal Challengers were 52 for 1 in six.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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