RESULT
Qualifier 2 (N), Ahmedabad, May 27, 2022, Indian Premier League
(18.1/20 ov, T:158) 161/3

Royals won by 7 wickets (with 11 balls remaining)

Preview

Royals stand between resurgent RCB and final spot

Explosive batting and exciting bowling will be on stage in Ahmedabad

Deivarayan Muthu
26-May-2022

Big picture

Last weekend, Royal Challengers Bangalore were on the brink of elimination, needing Mumbai Indians to knock Delhi Capitals out. Mumbai did them that favour, and now the stars are aligning for Royal Challengers.
Harshal Patel, Royal Challengers' designated death bowler, has recovered sufficiently from a hand injury. Rajat Patidar's high-risk 112 not out against Lucknow Super Giants fetched them high reward and put them in the second qualifier. Dinesh Karthik, too, rode his luck on Wednesday, and now Royal Challengers are one step away from featuring in the final this weekend.
Standing between RCB and the chance to meet Gujarat Titans in the final are Rajasthan Royals. Jos Buttler's brief slowdown and the lack of enough batting firepower beyond Shimron Hetmyer crippled them in the first qualifier against Titans in Kolkata. Prasidh Krishna and R Ashwin also erred in their lines and lengths at different points on Tuesday as the risk of playing six batters and five bowlers in T20 cricket was exposed.
Both Royals and Royal Challengers will also have to deal with the challenge of adapting quickly to the conditions at the Motera. The venue has been Royals' home ground in the past: in all, they have played 12 matches here and have won seven.

In the news

Royals' allrounder Daryl Mitchell has exited the IPL bubble to link up with the New Zealand side in Chelmsford.

Likely XIs

Rajasthan Royals: 1 Jos Buttler, 2 Yashasvi Jaiswal, 3 Sanju Samson (capt & wk), 4 Devdutt Padikkal, 5 Shimron Hetmyer, 6 Riyan Parag, 7 R Ashwin, 8 Trent Boult, 9 Yuzvendra Chahal, 10 Obed McCoy, 11 Prasidh Krishna
Royal Challengers Bangalore: 1 Faf du Plessis (capt), 2 Virat Kohli, 3 Rajat Patidar, 4 Glenn Maxwell, 5 Mahipal Lomror, 6 Shahbaz Ahmed, 7 Dinesh Karthik (wk), 8 Wanindu Hasaranga, 9 Harshal Patel, 10 Josh Hazlewood, 11 Mohammed Siraj

Strategy punt

Match up Wanindu Hasaranga with Sanju Samson once again. The RCB legspinner has dismissed Samson five times in six T20 innings while conceding only 18 runs off 23 balls. Mohammed Siraj also had a favourable head-to-head record against Samson: two dismissals for 21 runs off 20 balls.

Stats that matter

  • Since 2021, teams batting first have won six games, and teams batting second have won 11 games in T20 cricket at the Motera.
  • Karthik has been dismissed thrice in ten innings by Yuzvendra Chahal and averages just 12.66 against him in T20s.
  • After taking ten wickets in his first eight matches this season at an economy rate of 7.8, Krishna has managed only five strikes since, in seven games, with his economy rate shooting up to nine.
  • Royals and Royal Challengers have had the best spin attacks this IPL, in terms of wickets taken. Royals' spinners have grabbed 38 wickets to RCB's 35.
  • Friday's game will be Hasaranga's 100th in T20 cricket.
  • Deivarayan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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    TEAMMWLPTNRR
    GT14104200.316
    RR1495180.298
    LSG1495180.251
    RCB148616-0.253
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