• Sunday, June 23, 2024


Rajasthan beat Bengaluru by 4 wickets to face Hyderabad in Qualifier 2

Kohli greets Rajasthan’s Rovman Powell after their win in the IPL eliminator on Wednesday. (Photo: Getty Images)

By: Vivek Mishra

Virat Kohli faced disappointment as Royal Challengers Bengaluru were eliminated from the IPL after losing by four wickets to Rajasthan Royals in Ahmedabad on Wednesday.

Rajasthan held Bengaluru to 172-8, a target they reached with six balls remaining in the play-off at the world’s largest cricket stadium.

Bengaluru and Kohli continue to wait for their first IPL title. Rajasthan will play against Sunrisers Hyderabad in the last play-off on Friday in Chennai to determine who will face Kolkata Knight Riders in the final on May 26.

Kolkata secured their fourth IPL final spot after defeating Hyderabad in the first play-off on Tuesday in Ahmedabad.

Rajasthan, winners of the IPL’s inaugural edition in 2008, recovered from four losses in five matches, including a washout.

Bengaluru’s impressive run ended after they climbed from the bottom of the table, winning six consecutive matches to reach the play-offs.

“A lot of teams would have had their wheels fallen off after one from eight,” said Bengaluru skipper Faf du Plessis. “But we made sure to give our best and to come back like that – six games in a row – takes a lot of heart.”

Trent Boult, with figures of 1-16, and Ravichandran Ashwin, 2-19, were crucial in Rajasthan’s disciplined bowling attack, having elected to field first.

Rajasthan’s chase faltered after Yashasvi Jaiswal, caught behind on 45, and skipper Sanju Samson, stumped out for 17, were dismissed in quick succession.

Riyan Parag, who scored 36, and Shimron Hetmyer, with 26, put on 45 runs to steady the chase before Rovman Powell finished the game with a six in his unbeaten 16.

“We have the momentum now, so the dressing room is confident,” said Samson.

Ahmedabad remained hot with temperatures soaring above 43 degrees Celsius (109 degrees Fahrenheit) for the third consecutive day.

Over 85,000 people attended the match, with many fans braving the heat to support Kohli. Substitutes provided towels and water to keep players hydrated.

Most of India’s northern states have been under heatwave alerts since last week. Bollywood actor and IPL team owner Shah Rukh Khan was reportedly hospitalized in Ahmedabad due to heatstroke after celebrating Kolkata’s victory at the venue.

Earlier, Du Plessis was dismissed early for 17 after a diving catch by Powell off Boult. Kohli tried to set the pace with his 24-ball 33 but fell to Yuzvendra Chahal’s leg-spin, disappointing the crowd at the 132,000 capacity stadium.

Kohli finished as the season’s leading batsman with 741 runs, including a century and five half-centuries in 15 matches.

Rajasthan’s bowlers maintained pressure and took regular wickets, including two consecutive dismissals by Ashwin, who sent back Green for 27 and Glenn Maxwell for a duck.

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