KOLKATA, India (AP) — Rajat Patidar bludgeoned his maiden T20 century as Royal Challengers Bangalore eliminated Lucknow Super Giants from the Indian Premier League with a 14-run win on Wednesday.
Patidar, who only joined Bangalore as a replacement midway into the IPL after missing out in the original draft, smashed 12 fours and seven sixes in a superb knock of 112 off 54 balls, which lifted Bangalore to 207-4.
Josh Hazlewood (3-43) picked up the key wicket of Lucknow skipper Lokesh Rahul (79) in the penultimate over which halted Lucknow's chase at 193-6.
“Today was a special day, I am over the moon with the way Rajat played,” Bangalore skipper Faf du Plessis said. “The way he played and celebrated his hundred, tells me that he’s got a good head on his shoulder.”
Bangalore will now take on Rajasthan Royals in the Qualifier 2 on Friday with the winner meeting Gujarat Titans in the final on Sunday.
Patidar dominated Lucknow's bowlers after his skipper Faf du Plessis fell for a golden duck when he edged fast bowler Mohsin Khan in the first over.
Bangalore's giants -- Virat Kohli (25) and Glenn Maxwell (9) -- fell without contributing much, but Patidar dominated both pace and spin as he raised his fifty off 28 balls.
Lucknow had its chances but Deepak Hooda couldn’t hold onto an easy catch of Patidar which could have reduced Bangalore to 130-5 in the 16th over.
The miss cost Lucknow the game as Patidar blazed three sixes and two fours in the same over of leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi.
Manan Vohra then couldn’t grab a tough chance in the next over of Mohsin before Patidar smacked the fast bowler over midwicket for a six and raised his dream century off just 49 balls.
“I have been timing the ball and that was the focus, instead of powering the ball,” Patidar said. “In the last over of the powerplay … I felt I could score big today. My focus was about cashing in on the opportunity and looked to play with the straight bat and time it.”
Patidar added 93 blistering runs with Dinesh Karthik (37) with Sri Lanka fast bowler Dushmantha Chameera (0-54) going for 21 off his last over.
Rahul and Hooda revived Lucknow’s chase with a meaningful 97-run partnership before Wanindu Hasaranga provided a crucial breakthrough in the 15th over.
Hooda, who made 45 off 26 balls, hit the leg-spinner for two sixes before he was undone by a flatter delivery which knocked back his stumps.
Hazlewood then removed Rahul and Krunal Pandya off successive deliveries with the Lucknow captain getting brilliantly caught at short fine leg by Shahbaz Ahmed.
Harshal Patel, who struggled with his injured webbing of the bowling hand, bowled brilliantly to finish with 1-25 and got dangerman Marcus Stoinis caught at deep point in the death overs.
More AP cricket: https://apnews.com/hub/cricket and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports