After a long wait of 14 years, Rajasthan has made it to the final of the Indian Premier League. They were the very team that won the inaugural season of IPL. But since then, they were not able to make it even to a single final.
On Friday, they defeated Royal Challengers Bangalore in the second qualifier to achieve this feat.
It was an easy game for RR, just like the season had been. Still, there were two primary reasons behind this success: Rajasthan’s bowlers and obviously Jos Buttler.
Firstly, it was the bowlers who played their part to the fullest. And restricted Royal Challengers Bangalore for a score of 157. Prasidh Krishna made significant contributions with the ball.
After being smashed for three sixes in the final over of the first qualifier, Krishna made a remarkable comeback. He looked more determined and focused. Perhaps the last match ignited a fire of retribution within him. He seemed to be a man on a mission, and he redeemed himself by picking three crucial wickets.
Krishna dented RCB’s batting at crucial times. His first victim was Virat Kohli at the top; then, he removed Dinesh Karthik and Hasaranga down the order to ensure there was no comeback. He found a death bowling partner in Obed McCoy, who also picked up a three-wicket haul.
Rajat Patidar was the sole contributor with the bat for RCB. He scored a well-fought 58 off 42.
Buttler’s dominance in the second inning
Rajasthan was off to a flier in the second half. The credit goes to Yashasvi Jaiswal, who smashed Siraj for 16 runs in the first over. This got Rajasthan up and running. Then Jos Buttler took charge of the inning in the third over by dismantling Siraj for 16 more runs in the third over.
From there onwards, he didn’t look back. And nor did Rajasthan Royals. Buttler scored a 23-ball fifty to put his side in a great position. By the end of the 10th over, Rajasthan already had 103 runs on board.
They lost a couple of wickets in the next few overs. But everyone knew that the game was going nowhere until Buttler was on the crease. And English batter proved everyone right by winning the game for his side. In the process of doing so, he also smashed his fourth century of the season.
Rajasthan Royals will play their second IPL final on Sunday against Gujrat Titans.