Patidar 112* helps RCB post 207-4 vs LSG

Little-known domestic bulwark Rajat Patidar found his hour of fame as his magnificent 49-ball hundred propelled Royal Challengers Bangalore to an imposing 207 for 4 against Lucknow Super Giants in the IPL Eliminator on Wednesday.

Courtesy Patidar’s 54-ball-112 not out which had 12 fours and seven huge sixes, RCB literally knocked the stuffing out of LSG attack with Mohsin Khan’s superb 1 for 25 proving to be only saving grace.

On a day their famed batting duo trio of Faf du Plessis (0), Glenn Maxwell (9) and Virat Kohli (25) failed to enthrall a capacity Eden crowd, RCB’s No, 3 played out of his skin as 90 runs came in fours and sixes off just 19 balls.

While most of the star-studded RCB batters struggled for timing, the 28-year-old looked effortless with his slices, punches, counter-punches and drives to tower over the rest.

And to make Patidar’s story more interesting, he wasn’t picked from auction this season and joined the team after start when a player called Luvnith Sisodia was injured.

Had Sisodia been alright, RCB wouldn’t have required services of Patidar, who made 65,000 at Eden Gardens stand on their feet.

He along with Dinesh Karthik (37 not out from 23 balls) put on a match-turning unbroken partnership of 92 runs from 41 balls as RCB scored 84 runs in the last five overs to prop up the total.

First, he showed the glimpses of his stroke-making skills to slam Krunal Pandya for three boundaries and one six inside the power-play to overshadow Kohli in a 66-run partnership from 46 balls.

Having cruised to his half-century in 28 balls, he took another 21 balls to reach his maiden hundred in T20s.

He got to the landmark pulling Mohsin Khan over square leg with a sweet-timing of the bat that summed up his effortless stay at the crease.

RCB lost three key wickets of a well-set Kohli, Maxwell and Mahipal Lomror in the middle overs to see their run-rate drop.

In-form Dinesh Karthik, who has played the role of a finisher to perfection for RCB this season, also survived some anxious moments against Ravi Bishnoi to start with.

But Patidar turned it around in the last over Bishnoi when he smacked the ‘googly-man’ for three sixes and two fours in succession in an over that read 1 6 4 6 4 6.

A sloppy LSG also helped his cause as Patidar, who got reprieves on 59, 72 and 93. After a 40-minute delayed start due to bad weather, Lucknow got off to a superb start when Mohsin got RCB skipper Faf du Plessis for a golden duck in the first over.

Having lost their skipper early, it was about biding time as Kohil and Patidar opted for a wait-and-watch policy before the latter broke loose against Krunal Pandya in the last over of the power-play.

Patidar slammed Krunal for three boundaries and one six in an over that yielded 20 runs to make it up for their slow start and cruise to 52/1 in six overs.

sachin, viru impressed Patidar’s binder earned him a lot of praise of social media and taking to Twitter, Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar and legendary Indian opener Virender Sehwag hailed him for playing a match-changing knock for the Faf du Plessis-led side.

“Serious hitting by Rajat Patidar and nicely supported by @DineshKarthik. It’s a great total but given how the surface is playing and the fast outfield, I feel it’ll be a close game. Well played by @rcbtweets in the first half!,” Tendulkar said in his tweet. Tendulkar’s former Team India teammate Sehwag also shared a special tweet for the middle-order batter of the Bangalore-based franchise.