Royals progress to Qualifier 2, RCB eliminated

Riyan Parag
Riyan Parag (PC: X)

Ravi Ashwin and Avesh Khan bagged five wickets between them while Riyan Parag, Yashasvi Jaiswal and Shimron Hetmyer made important contributions as Rajasthan Royals returned to form with a six-wicket win over Royal Challengers Bengaluru in the Eliminator in Ahmedabad. With this loss, the spirited RCB side have bowed out of the tournament. On the other hand, RR will now lock horns with Sunriser Hyderabad in Qualifier 2 in Chennai.

The Parag-Hetmyer show saves the day for RR

At 112 for 4, when Dhruv Jurel was run-out on the back of an excellent throw from Virat Kohli, RR were in a spot of bother. At that moment, Hetmyer and Parag strung together a vital partnership of 45 to put RR in the ascendancy. The duo employed the pull, drive and the good, old steer to third man to put the pressure back on the bowlers.

There was still some action in the middle as Parag tried a hoick across the line and was castled while Hetmyer was dismissed on the back of a brilliant catch by Faf du Plessis. Unfortunately, RCB didn’t have enough runs to defend as Rovman Powell cracked a couple of boundaries and a six off the penultimate over to chase down the target of 173.

Spirited effort from RCB’s bowlers

The Bengaluru franchise seemed to have aggregated  a slightly below par total. However, the likes of Cameron Green and Mohammed Siraj took two wickets each to keep RCB in the game. Upfront, Yash Dayal also found some swing but couldn’t pick up the scalp of Yashasvi Jaiswal on the back of Green dropping a tough chance at first slip. A while later, Glenn Maxwell also grassed an easy chance. His poor run with the bat also continued as he was dismissed for no score.

RR’s experience counts

On a slightly sluggish surface, Ashwin showcased his quality by not just keeping the runs down but also took the prized scalp of Green. The spinner could have also removed the in-form Rajat Patidar, but he was dropped by Jurel at long-on. He mainly experimented with subtle changes of flight and pace. Ashwin also followed Patidar all the time when he tried to manufacture room. Trent Boult, the veteran left-arm pacer, also bowled with purpose and gave away just 16 runs in his quota of four overs. Meanwhile, Avesh was expensive but finished with three wickets for the cost of 44 runs. 

RCB struggle to up the ante

Patidar, Mahipal Lomror and Kohli crossed the 30-run mark but none of them could convert it into a score of substance. More importantly, they lost wickets at crucial stages. From 97 for 2 they slipped to 97 for 4. Later on, Patidar and Karthik were dismissed, when it seemed as if the duo would press the accelerator pedal.