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Royals stun RCB to set up Sunrisers clash in IPL 2024 playoffs

IPL T20 cricket news

The Rajasthan Royals have won a thriller in Ahmedabad, knocking Royal Challengers Bengaluru out of the 2024 IPL playoffs in the Eliminator on Tuesday evening.

The two teams’ form couldn’t have been more different coming into this do-or-die clash. Bengaluru were riding a six-match winning streak, while Rajasthan were winless since April, having lost four on the trot.

The beauty of knockout cricket is form doesn’t matter. Rajasthan defied the bookmakers’ odds and put on a clinical performance, restricting Bengaluru to 172/8 before chasing down the total with an over and four wickets to spare.

Royals bowlers put on a clinic

In a foreshadowing of the match’s result, RCB lost the toss and were sent in to bat first by Rajasthan.

While Rajat Patidar’s 34 off 22 balls and Virat Kohli’s 33 from 24 provided a good start to Bengaluru, it wouldn’t last. The brilliant bowling of Avesh Khan, who took three wickets for 44 runs, soon stifled any momentum.

Ravichandran Ashwin’s experience also helped the Royals prevent Bengaluru piling up a big total.

The wily veteran took two crucial wickets for just 19 runs, nabbing Australian stars Cameron Green and Glenn Maxwell. The latter went for a golden duck, swinging the match heavily in Rajasthan’s favour.

Even a controversial reprieve for Dinesh Karthik couldn’t save the Royal Challengers. The batsman had his LBW dismissal overruled by the TV umpire despite a lack of conclusive evidence, only to fall soon after for 11.

Team effort sees Rajasthan across the line

Set 173 to win, the Royals put on a genuine team effort to make it through to Qualifier 2.

Opener Yashasvi Jaiswal was the primary contributor with a brilliant knock of 45 off just 30 balls. His innings put pressure on Bengaluru’s bowlers while also providing an anchor for the rest of Rajasthan’s lineup to bat around.

Riyan Parang and Shimron Hetmyer also chipped in, with respective cameos of 36 off 26 balls and 26 from 14. Although Mohammed Siraj’s two wickets to displace the duo briefly put the match in balance, Rajasthan quickly stabilised and cruised to the finish line.

They crossed it in style, with Rovman Powell pummelling the final ball of the 19th over into the stands to claim the victory.

Next up, the Rajasthan Royals will face another sudden-death encounter. Sunrisers Hyderabad await in Qualifier 2 on Friday, having lost to the Kolkata Knight Riders on Monday night.

Online bookmakers are finding it hard to split the pair, with Sunrisers (-125) only slightly favoured to beat the Royals (+100).

Whoever wins this one will have the challenge of going up against a fearsome-looking Kolkata outfit in the 2024 IPL Final on Sunday.

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