Rajat Patidar's match-winning century ended Royal Challengers Bangalore's (RCB) IPL Eliminator jinx and pushed them through to Qualifier 2 with a 14-run win over Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) in Kolkata on Wednesday.
Patidar's unbeaten 112 runs, which included 12 fours and seven sixes, propelled RCB to a total of 207/4. In reply, LSG only managed 193/6 with KL Rahul making 79 and Deepak Hooda making 45 runs.
Patidar came into the RCB camp as a replacement player for the IPL 2022 for Luvnith Sisodia, who was ruled out due to injury.
Former India coach Ravi Shastri praised the batter's performance, adding it didn't appear as if he was just in his second IPL season.
"When you have a special innings, like the one from that young guy Rajat Patidar. A replacement player batted like he's been playing the IPL for the last decade. Stunning shots, brave… not effected by the occasion, not overawed by the opposition or its bowling attack. He was fantastic. He set the game up for RCB," Shastri said on Star Sports Show after the match.
Patidar had a lot of luck on his way to his century. He was dropped three times during his innings, the last time moments before he reached his century. Deepak Hooda spilled an easy catch at deep midwicket off Ravi Bishnoi, and Manan Vohra put him down at short third man.
Patidar, it's reasonable to say, made the most of it.
"From Lucknow's point of view, they didn’t help themselves by dropping those catches. But that’s part and parcel of the game. Patidar would say ‘I will take that. When I am striking it that well, I deserve a little bit of luck. He was simply brilliant," added Shastri