and Buttler rocks into the final. RR too. Their first final since the first IPL, which they won. Buttler backs away and pulls this quick short ball over wide long-on for another six
11.40pm What a night for Rajasthan Royals. That defeat to Gujarat Titans must not have been easy to take. They fought really hard after losing the toss, and went into the final over with 15 to defend. Such losses can crush you but they came back strong. So cool for a winning captain to say how big a role the toss plays. So the next time you hear a losing captain say that, don't run it down as an excuse. This is all we have for you here on this Friday night. Sunday night will be the big final between teams that finished on 1 and 2 on the league table. Before that, do not forget the final of the Women's T20 Challenge on Saturday. For now, good night and good luck.
11.35pm "No not at at all," says Jos Buttler, Player of the Match. "I came to the season with very low expectations but a lot of energy. It is very exciting to stand in the final. I had a season of two halves, and had very honest conversations with people really close to me. I was feeling the pressure midway, and it was only about a week ago that I opened up about it. It helped me and I went to Kolkata with a freer mind. Sometimes it is not working for me, and there are times when a younger me would have played a shot and come out. But it's something that Sanga has been saying that the longer you stay, you give yourselves a chance to find a way. Great excitement to have the opportunity to play in the final of the biggest tournament in T20 cricket. Shane Warne has been such an influential figure for RR. We will miss him dearly."
11.30pm "It was really tough," says Sanju Samson. "But we used to bouncing back in the IPL. It is a long tournament where you go up and down. The wicket, bowling first, was a bit sticky and helping the fast bowlers. The bounce was good, which made it easier to hit the spinners. But our fast bowlers bowled really well. We needed to close very well with DK and Maxwell there. Yes definitely the toss made it much easier for us. The toss plays a huge part. The pitch plays completely different in the second innings. We are very fortunate to have Jos. Touch wood, one more match to go. I was playing an Under-16 final somewhere in Kerala when I saw Shane Warne and Sohail Tanvir win it for Rajasthan Royals in 2008."
11.12pm "Very satisfying," says Kumar Sangakkara. "All the planning, all the hard work. Really tough with the close defeat to Gujarat Titans but the guys got back up and came back strongly. Jos Buttler backs his strengths and manoeuvres the bowling to bowl more and more to his strengths. The great thing is he can accelerate anytime. Overall he is a wonderful guy who thinks deeply about his game and himself. The entire bowling unit was outstanding. Special mention to Prasidh. We had 16 to defend in the last game, and three sixes by Miller. It can cause a huge dent in then confidence. But he was honest, he was great in the nets. Then Trent Boult. And O)bed McCoy, his mother has been quite ill back home, but he has been able to put that aside. She is recovering well. And Ashwin and Yuzi have run the show. At the auction table, we spent 90-95% of our purse on putting together our first XI. We worked hard on data to work on the players we wanted. We put emphasis on experience at the moment. We have a spattering of youngsters who will become stars later, but our first XI has a strong share of seasoned internationals. Full credit to Giles Lindsay, our analyst, Zubin Barucha and the rest of the staff. Wins don't just happen. It takes a lot of planning, hard work, execution on the field."
11.07pm "When we walked off the field we felt we were a bit short," says Faf du Plessis. "It was pretty challenging with the new ball, it moved around a bit. But we got through the first six without much damage. It felt like Test cricket in that first session. More bounce really. Still we felt 180 was par. I am really proud otherwise. It has been a great season for RCB. My first season to see how special the crowds have been for us. Harshal, DK< all the guys who are picked for India deserve it. I stand proud of the team even though we were not at our best tonight and against a very strong Rajasthan Royals side. There is some really nice young talent in our squad, and you have a three-year plan. That's what you look to maximise. You can see how good Rajat has been after he came in. Our fans have been the most obvious thing. You go to any game anywhere and you have RCB-RCB chanted. The guys were emotional when we heard the RCB chants even when playing Mumbai. So well done to our fans and thank you very much."
11.02 Joy in the RR camp, despondency in RCB. Buttler has lost his helmet as he shakes the hands of RCB fielders on his way back to his team-mates. A complete rout of RCB. The Royals had their plans in place and executed them superbly on a pitch that suited their into-the-pitch bowling. The decision-making was spot on. Sanju Samson was quick to see a bouncy pitch and bowl through the powerplay with his new-ball bowlers. Then on a pitch that didn't help him, R Ashwin put in a shift. Obed McCoy was superb with his variations, making up for a rare off day for Yuzvendra Chahal. Buttler and Yashasvi Jaiswal then killed off the chase in the powerplay itself. Buttler then controlled the chase superbly. This is as comprehensive as they come.
And now for the final seal. RR need three runs to make the final. In a season that they are honouring their first Royal, Shane Warne
Hundred No. 4. He has his helmet off, and is leaping for joy. The dugout stands as one to celebrate. This is a wide half-volley, and he has pushed this past point for an easy single. What a season Buttler is having. He has a chance to go past Kohli's record of four hundreds
Buttler tries to get there in one shot, hits this wide of long-on, and it looks like it is going for four, but the ball plugs in the surface. So they get just the two
pushes this offbreak down to long-on for another single
Buttler needs three out of seven. Hetmyer on strike
flat, into the pads, another single around the corner
full, on the pads, clipped away for a single
Round the wicket. No slip. RCB going through their motions
offbreak into the pads, soft hands looking for two, but he has played this straight to deep midwicket
Buttler needs five, RR need 10, three overs to go. The final beckons. Here is Maxwell
short of a length, defended solidly to hand it over to Buttler
Shimron Hetmyer with a chance to be there when they achieve the win
Padikkal is gone, looking for a ramp. Hazlewood has dug this in short, Padikkal arches back to try to run it over the keeper's head, but the line cramps him up and goes off the glove to the keeper
oh he is seeing if he can do it in one shot. Right across to try to slog it over wide long-on. Gets a thick inside edge for a single
Now he need six out of 11
a Buttler masterclass is never complete without the ramp. Shuffles across early again, gets a length ball, and then scoops it over short fine
Buttler is teeing off now. Goes across early trying to access his wide lines, but Hazlewood goes short. Still the top edge flies over backward point for two. Into the 90s
short of a length, outside off, runs this down to deep point for one
Hazlewood is back now
that should be the game. This is a comprehensive statement. Sees Hasaranga off with a six. And not just any six, but one where he has picked the wrong'un, and dropped it over wide long-on. Just 18 needed now. Buttler needs 12 for a century
legbreak, quick, on a length, runs off the thick outside edge to point
that will deflate RCB. Hasaranga flights this, trying to check if there is indecision and pressure after a period without boundaries. But he has bowled it too full, and Buttler lofts him over long-off clean for a six. Goes past 800 for the season
another dot. The crowd is getting into it. Hasaranga dives to his left to field this punch
short of a length, legbreak, punched down to long-on for another single
legbreak, on the pads, worked away into the leg side for one
Harshal Patel is on the sidelines having his webbing looked at. Here is Hasaranga
RCB stitching together quiet overs. It is now over a run a ball
another single to deep cover
Over 19 • RR 161/3Royals won by 7 wickets (with 11 balls remaining)