On May 19, the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) beat the Gujarat Titans (GT) in their final group stage match of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022, which was contested at Mumbai’s legendary Wankhede Stadium (Thursday). The table-toppers never stood a chance in front of the Red Army thanks to a batting masterpiece from Virat Kohli.
Hardik Pandya, the GT captain, won the toss and chose to bat first. Shubman Gill, the starter, failed yet again, scoring only one run.
Before skipper Pandya and Wriddhiman Saha stabilised GT’s ship, Matthew Wade was involved in a contentious decision. The Titans finished on 168/5 in their allocated 20 overs, thanks to some late flourishes from South African batter David Miller and star Rashid Khan.
Josh Hazlewood, Glenn Maxwell, and Wanindu Hasaranga were the most effective bowlers for RCB. Harshal Patel, the RCB’s top bowler, could only deliver one over, allowing only six runs, after suffering a split webbing on his bowling hand.
With the Red Army chasing 169, openers Faf du Plessis and former captain Virat Kohli went all out against the GT bowlers. Before Rashid scalped Du Plessis, the duo stitched a superb opening partnership of 115 runs.
After a couple of overs, Kohli joined him to the pavilion and the next hurdle for GT was Maxwell. Maxwell was not letting the GT bowlers relax as he hit 40 runs in just 18 balls to help the Red Army win with eight balls to spare.
Thus, now Punjab Kings (PBKS) and Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) have been eliminated from the tournament following RCB’s victory yesterday. Meanwhile, the top four teams in the points rankings are GT, Lucknow Super Giants (LSG), Rajasthan Royals (RR), and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB).
IPL 2022: RCB defeats GT by 8 wickets – Post Match Reaction
After the match the winning captain Faf du Plessis said
“Throughout the season we haven’t done as much as have liked. But you still need to back these big players. Virat had been putting in the hard yards in the nets. I play the role with him and get him pumped up.”
“You always want to finish strongly. A few inconsistent performances have put us in this situation. I am banking on Rohit to come good.”
Meanwhile, the losing captain Hardik Pandya said
“We had just a par score. The ball was stopping here and there and we were happy with 168. We wanted to give Lockie the opportunity, but the wicket was holding a bit.”
“The way the boys are gelling and the way we are going, it is a learning for the players. I don’t know about Saha’s injury. He was feeling his hamstring and it was a precautionary measure to keep him off the field.”
What’s next for Gujarat and Bangalore
Next up for GT will be a playoffs round game on 24th May, Tuesday at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata. Meanwhile, RCB will have to wait and see if DC fails to win their last game only then will they play in a knockout game but if DC wins against MI, RCB might have already played their last game in this season.