Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper Faf du Plessis was elated with the performance of his batter Rajat Patidar, whose superb knock of unbeaten 112 set up their win against Lucknow Super Giants in the Eliminator match of IPL 2022 at the Eden Gardens here. Patidar produced a knock for the ages, slamming a 49-ball century in powering Royal Challengers Bangalore to a mammoth 207/4 in 20 overs against Lucknow Super Giants on Wednesday night. Patidar slammed 12 boundaries and seven sixes for scoring an unbeaten 112 off just 54 balls, taking Lucknow's bowling attack to the cleaners. It was a knock during which Patidar, who was not even picked at the auction originally and came in as an injury replacement for Luvinth Sisodia, played every role in the book. He came in when the ball was new, waited for some time, and then unleashed an onslaught irrespective of pace or spin to enthrall a capacity crowd at Eden Gardens, who will be remembering his knock for a long time to come. Du Plessis was obviously happy with his batting as the South African had put his faith in the batting all-rounder from Indore, Madhya Pradesh as things were not working for RCB at the top.
Patidar has paid back for that faith by scoring 275 runs in six innings of seven matches at an average of 55.00 and a strike rate of 156.25. "I am over the moon with the way Rajat played. In a match like today, it's a bit more pressure. The way he played and celebrated his hundred, tells me that he's got a good head on his shoulder," said du Plessis on Wednesday. He praised Patidar for the way he fought back every time he came under pressure. "Rajat has got all the shots and the way he attacks... Every time we are under a little bit of pressure, the way he comes and attacks," said du Plessis. Chasing a target of 208, Lucknow were in the hunt, thanks to a 96-run stand between KL Rahul (79 off 58 balls) and Deepak Hooda (45 off 26 balls). However, Josh Hazlewood claimed three strikes and Harshal Patel bowled superbly to concede just 1/25 in his four overs as Lucknow could make only 193/6. The win means that Bangalore will face Rajasthan Royals in Qualifier 2 at Ahmedabad on Friday.