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IPL: Buttler’s ton helps Royals reach final

Rajasthan Royals on Friday entered the final of Indian Premier League with a superb seven-wicket win over Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Qualifier 2 match at the Narendra Modi Stadium.

This was their first IPL final since winning the title in the inaugural season in 2008.

Rajasthan now face Gujarat Titans in the final on Sunday night.

Chasing 158 for the win, Buttler slammed his fourth century of the season to turn the game on its head.

Jos Buttler top-scored for RR with 106 not out as they chased down the target with 11 balls to spare.

Buttler was assisted by Yashasvi Jaiswal, who slammed a quick-fire 13-ball 21 at the start.

The opening pair added 61 in just 5.1 overs for the first wicket, breaking the spirits of the RCB camp.

Buttler was unstoppable and his change is form couldn’t have come at a better time for the Royals.
He brought up his fourth hundred of the season, equalling Virat Kohli’s record for most centuries in an IPL season.
His century came off just 59 balls.

Later, Sanju Samson also chipped in with a useful 23 off 21 deliveries.

Such was the dominance of the Royals that the spectators had started leaving the stadium even before the game was over.
When Buttler hit the winning hit, a six over wide long-on off Harshal Patel, there were still 11 balls remaining.

For RCB, Josh Hazlewood was the most successful bowler with figures of 2/23.

RCB openers fail

A lot was expected from Virat Kohli after his welcome return to form.

In fact, there were many who were tipping RCB for the title.

However, it all went haywire as Virat fell cheaply for 7.

He was a the first victim of Prasidh Krishna, who found the perfect stage to showcase his talent.

He managed to bowl a beauty that nipped and found Kohli’s edge that landed safely in a grateful Samson’s gloves.

RCB’s best period followed as Faf du Plessis and Rajat Patidar strung together a 70 run partnership that looked good while it lasted.

However, Faf’s dismissal in the 11th over pulled RCB back and the team struggled to find any fluency thereafter.

Maxwell looked destructive but lost his wicket for 24 when RCB couldn’t afford it.

Patidar was the only bright spot, helping himself to a 42-ball 58.

The bottom fell out of the RCB line-up when Royals grabbed five wickets in the last five overs.

In that crucial period, RCB scored only 34 runs.

Krishna was under pressure after getting hammered for three straight sixes in the final over against Gujarat.

However, he made a strong comeback and lifted his game in the slog overs.

His dismissal of the in-form Dinesh Karthik and Wanindu Hasaranga off successive balls was the final nail in the RCB coffin.

Surprisingly, Yuzvendra Chahal had an off day, going for 45 runs in 4 overs.

Prasidh Krishna and Obed McCoy took three wickets apiece while Trent Boult and Ravichandran Ashwin got one each.

Royal Challengers Bangalore (Playing XI):

Virat Kohli, Faf du Plessis(c), Rajat Patidar, Glenn Maxwell, Mahipal Lomror, Dinesh Karthik(w), Shahbaz Ahmed, Wanindu Hasaranga, Harshal Patel, Josh Hazlewood, Mohammed Siraj

Rajasthan Royals (Playing XI):

Yashasvi Jaiswal, Jos Buttler, Sanju Samson(w/c), Devdutt Padikkal, Shimron Hetmyer, Riyan Parag, Ravichandran Ashwin, Trent Boult, Prasidh Krishna, Obed McCoy, Yuzvendra Chahal

Rajasthan Royals 161 for 3 (Buttler 106*, Samson 23, Hazlewood 2-23) beat Royal Challengers Bangalore 157 for 8 (Patidar 58, du Plessis 25, Prasidh 3-22, McCoy 3-23) by seven wickets

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