Rajasthan Royals' Road to IPL 2022 Final
RR has reached an IPL final for the first time since 2008, where they had won the title in the inaugural season.
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Rajasthan Royals have become the second finalists of the IPL 2022, after defeating Royal Challengers Bangalore in Qualifier 2 on Friday.
The Royals have reached an IPL final for the first time since 2008 when they had won the title in the inaugural season, under Shane Warne.
Let's take a look at the Royal's incredible journey in IPL 15, so far.
Started With Two Victories
This season, RR began their campaign on a positive note, winning their first two matches with ease. In their first match, against Sunrisers Hyderabad, a complete batting domination from the Royals powered them to a mammoth total of 210/6 before the RR bowlers, led by Yuzvendra Chahal, restricted the Sunrisers to 149/7. Skipper Sanju Samson was awarded the Man of the Match award for scoring 55 runs against SRH.
In their second match, against Mumbai Indians, Jos Buttler became the first centurion of the season as a magnificent knock from the opening batter powered Rajasthan to a commanding total of 193/8 before the RR bowling unit successfully defended the total to win the game by 23 runs.
This was just a beginning for Buttler, who throughout this IPL season remained on top of the highest run-scorer's list and owned the Orange Cap.
Couple of Bumps Along The Way (LWL)
After a positive start in the first two games, RR's winning streak ended against Royal Challengers Bangalore. RR lost an early wicket in the form of Yashasvi Jaiswal after David Willey bowled the left-handed batter for 4. Opener Jos Buttler’s 70 not out and all-rounder Shimron Hetmyer's quick 44 runs helped RR set a target of 170, however, the target wasn’t big enough to defeat RCB as match-defining knocks from Dinesh Karthik and Shahbaz Ahmed powered RCB to a memorable victory in a high-octane clash.
After suffering their first loss of the tournament, RR was back to winning ways against IPL debutants Lucknow Super Giants. RR openers – Jos Buttler and Devdutt Padikkal got the team off to a solid start as RR were 27/0 after 3 overs. After losing some quick wickets later in the innings, the pair of Ravi Ashwin and Shimron Hetmyer built a steady partnership for the fifth wicket. Hetmyer’s impeccable 59*(36) guided Rajasthan Royals to a competitive total of 165 against LSG. However, it was RR’s experienced bowler Yuzvendra Chahal who led his team to victory with a four-wicket haul that included his 150th IPL wicket.
With the victory, RR took the lead in all three tables of the league – the Points Table, Orange Cap (Jos Buttler) and Purple Cap (Yuzvendra Chahal). However, RR’s high was short-lived as they lost their next match to IPL debutants Gujarat Titans.
GT skipper Hardik Pandya made sure to replace RR on the top of the points table as he excelled in all three departments against the latter. He remained unbeaten on 87 as GT posted a 192-run target for RR to chase. The target was achievable for the RR batters but their inconsistency led them down. Star batter Jos Buttler’s half-century in 23 deliveries was not enough for the team to get past the finish line as they lost the match by 37 runs.
A 3 Match Winning Streak
Rajasthan Royals bounced back from their loss against Gujarat Titans and went on to win three matches in a row. The first one being against Kolkata Knight Riders.
Jos Buttler’s second century of the season followed by Yuzvendra Chahal’s five-wicket haul, including a game-changing hat-trick ensured a 7-run victory for Rajasthan.
Batting first, Buttler thumped two sixes and as many fours as RR were 40/0 after four overs. The fifty partnership was up for the opening pair, with Jos Buttler doing the majority of the hitting and RR were 55/0 at the end of powerplay. Buttler eventually made 103 and helped RR set a massive target of 218 against KKR. KKR batters, led by Shreyas Iyer, were also knocking the ball out of the park and were 116/2 at the halfway mark. That was until Yuzvendra Chahal brought RR back in the contest with a sensational hat-trick as four wickets fell in the 17th over, including the big wicket of skipper Iyer. Obed McCoy held his nerves and scalped the final two wickets as RR won the game by 7 runs.
Next, RR faced DC to reclaim their top position on the points table. RR opener Buttler scored his third century of IPL 15. Buttler’s century and Devdutt Padikal’s half-century helped RR set their second highest target of 223 runs against Delhi. Chasing a massive total, Rishabh pant’s Delhi played well against then table-toppers but fell 15 runs shot.
After losing their first match against RCB in this season, RR made sure to come out victorious the second time they faced them this season. They lost early wickets against RCB bowlers, including the crucial wicket of Jos Buttler. However, youngster Riyan Parag quick 56* helped in setting a target of 145 runs for Bangalore to chase. Even though RR didn’t post a big total this time, it was enough for them beat RCB. RR bowler Kuldeep Sen picked a four-wicket haul to lead his team to 15 runs victory over RCB.
A Roller Coaster Ride to the Playoffs
High on 3 back-to-back wins, RR faced a surprising defeat to Mumbai Indians who had failed to win a single match so far in this season. Even though they scored a decent total of 162, with Jos Buttler scoring a half-century, RR bowlers failed to defend the runs. Suryakumar Yadav (51) and Tilak Varma (35) led the charge with the bat and handed RR a 5 wicket defeat.
RR faced their second consecutive defeat after KKR beat them by 7 wickets in the next match. Even though skipper Sanju Samson scored a half-century, it was not enough to lead his team towards victory. Chasing 153, KKR’s Nitish Rana and Rinku Singh stitched a match-winning partnership which changed the momentum of the game and helped them seal a crucial victory against Rajasthan.
An inconsistent Royals team then faced Punjab Kings for the first time in this IPL season. Bowling first in the match, star bowler Yuzvendra Chahal took 3 wickets in the innings to restrict PBKS to 189 runs. Even though Buttler was defeated early, opener Yashasvi Jaiswal who scored 68 runs, led his team towards an important 7-wicket victory against PBKS.
RR had only three matches left in the group stage and the playoffs were nearing.
However, they yet again failed to win against Delhi Capitals, for the second time this season and lost a thriller. The RR batters weren’t in great form but managed to post a target of 160. DC’s Mitchell Marsh (89) and David Warner (52), easily breezed past the RR bowlers who only managed to pick 2 wickets in this match.
With qualification ahead, the next two matches were crucial for the Royals. Facing LSG for the second time, RR made sure to get back into their winning form. Batting first, it was youngsters Yashasvi Jaiswala and Devdutt Padikkal who helped set a target of 179. Later, led by Trent Boult who picked 2 wickets, RR bowlers restricted LSG to 154 runs and won the match by 24 runs.
The match against Chennai Super Kings turned out to be the most important match for Rajasthan as it not only helped them qualify for the playoffs but also helped them move to the second place in the points table.
Rajasthan Royals (RR) overcame a Moeen Ali show and beat CSK to seal a top two finish on the points table. Needing 151 runs to win, Yashasvi Jaiswal gave RR a cracking start even as Jos Buttler got out in the second over to Simarjeet Singh. Later in the innings, R Ashwin brought all his experience into play and scored a superb 23-ball 40*, successfully chasing the target of 151 against CSK.188
In the first match of the IPL 2022 playoffs, Rajasthan Royals faced Gujarat Titans, hoping to directly reach the final. Opener Jos Buttler, whose form had fallen a bit in the latter phase of the group stage, was back to his power-hitting form against the Titans. He scored 89 runs off 56 balls in the first innings of the match, helping set a target of 188 runs. But it was not enough to win the match as GT’s finisher David Miller sealed the victory for his team, scoring 68 off just 38 balls.
But, having qualified in the second position for the playoffs, RR had one big advantage - they got another shot at reaching the final. In Friday's Eliminator, they played RCB for a spot in the title match on Sunday.
Even though many predicted it to be a tough contest between the two 'Royals', opener Jos Buttler and all-rounder Prasidh Krishna made it an easy win for Rajasthan Royals, vs RCB. RR who decided to bowl first, restricted RCB to 157 runs as Krishna took three wickets. Later, it was a complete Jos Buttler show as the opener scored a brilliant century (106) and effortlessly won the match for his team, claiming their spot in the IPL 2022 final.
After 16 matches, Jos Buttler leads the Orange Cap race with 818 runs while Yuzvendra Chahal is second on the Purple Cap list. He can overtake Hasaranga and win the race if he is able to claim any wickets in the final match.
On 29 May, Sanju Samson’s Rajasthan Royal will be up against against Hardik Pandya’s Gujarat Titans, hoping to claim their second IPL title.
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