Rajat Patidar produced a knock for the ages, slamming a 49-ball century in powering Royal Challengers Bangalore to a mammoth 207/4 in 20 overs against Lucknow Super Giants in the IPL 2022 Eliminator at the Eden Gardens on Wednesday.
Patidar slammed 12 boundaries and seven sixes for scoring an unbeaten 112 off just 54 balls, taking Lucknow's bowling attack to cleaners, especially in the last five overs which brought a whooping 84 runs with Dinesh Karthik providing finishing fireworks with an unbeaten 37.
It was a knock where Patidar, who was not even picked at the auction originally and came in as an injury replacement for Luvinth Sisodia, played every role in the book. He came in when the ball was new, waited for some time and then unleashed an onslaught irrespective of pace or spin to enthrall a capacity crowd at Eden Gardens, who will be remembering his knock for a long time to come.
Mohsin Khan provided the early breakthrough for Lucknow, sending back Faf du Plessis for a golden duck with a lovely delivery that nips away off the seam, luring the right-hander to nick one behind to keeper Quinton de Kock.
With Virat Kohli bringing out impeccable flick and uppish drive, Patidar got going with an upper cut over point off Avesh Khan and then hammered a harmless short ball with a pull over midwicket for back-to-back boundaries. Krunal Pandya came under thrashing from Patidar in final over of power-play, hitting three boundaries and a six to take 20 runs off the over and bring up Bangalore's fifty.
Though Patidar's fast and furious start gave Kohli some time to accelerate, it didn't happen as Kohli looked to play an upper cut off Avesh but found third man, bringing the 66-run stand to a close. Patidar continued to be on a roll, bringing his fifty in 28 balls. But he was losing support from other end as Glenn Maxwell toe-ended a pull to long leg and Mahipal Lomror slapped straight to cover after hitting two boundaries.
Bangalore benefitted from reprieves given by Lucknow, starting from KL Rahul dropping Dinesh Karthik at four and then dropping Patidar at 72. That set the tone for Patidar to unleash a carnage on Ravi Bishnoi, whacking three sixes and two boundaries from wide long-off to deep mid-wicket.
With Karthik taking three boundaries off Avesh, Patidar was again dropped on 93 and on the very next ball, pulled over deep mid-wicket for six to bring up a sensational century in 49 balls. The duo smacked 21 and 13 runs off the last two overs to help Bangalore cross 200-mark.
Brief Scores: Royal Challengers Bangalore 207/4 in 20 overs (Rajat Patidar 112 not out, Dinesh Karthik 37 not out; Mohsin Khan 1/25, Krunal Pandya 1/39) against Lucknow Super Giants