The final week of the IPL saw four teams contesting for the ultimate prize. Gujarat Titans and Rajasthan Royals had two shots at glory. Lucknow Super Giants and Royal Challengers Bangalore had three potential knockout chances. The teams were tested to the hilt. One team stood tall amongst all the pressure and chaos. It was a fitting finale to what has been a fantastic IPL. Lets look at Final Week Recap.
We take a quick recap of the week that was:
#1 The First Qualifier
Gujarat Titans took on the Rajasthan Royals in the first qualifier at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata. The first placed, Titans took on the second-placed, Royals in a bid to directly move to the finals. GT won the toss and elected to field. RR courtesy Jos Buttler and Sanju Samson powered their way to a daunting 188.
GT needed something special to pull this off. They lost three wickets inside the 10 overs. But it is here where GT’s two main batters came to the fore. Hardik Pandya and David Miller stitched a special partnership to guide GT home. They needed 16 off the last over. But Miller killed the chase with three sixes off the first three balls of the last over. GT stormed into the finals, and RR had to play the second qualifier.
#2 The Eliminator
Lucknow Super Giants placed third took on the fourth-placed, Royal Challengers Bangalore. Eden Gardens, Kolkata hosted the eliminator as well. LSG winning the toss chose to field first. RCB were jolted early losing their captain early. But what followed suit was an innings to remember. Rajat Patidar, became the first uncapped batter to score a century in the playoffs.
He combined with Dinesh Karthik to clobber 84 runs off the last five overs to take RCB to 207. KL Rahul-led LSG tried but fell short. Their caution first approach cost them the game. RCB broke their 2-year eliminator jinx to play the second qualifier. It felt as if someone else was writing the script for RCB this season!
#3 The second qualifier
RCB, high on confidence started favourites against a hurt Rajasthan Royals. In a cauldron of the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, RR won the toss. They put in RCB to bat. RCB lost Virat Kohli early. Patidar put on a show again albeit departed scoring 58. RCB stumbled in the last five overs this game scoring just 34.
They were restricted to a below-par score of 158. Jos Buttler scored his fourth hundred of the season. He took along the Royals to their second IPL finals along the way. Buttler singlehandedly dashed RCB’s hopes of winning a maiden IPL title this season.
#4 The final
It was an almost capacity crowd at the world’s largest cricket stadium. There was entertainment even before the game began. Artists lit up the closing ceremony of IPL 2022. But it was cricket that made the most noise. RR winning the toss had no hesitation in choosing to bat first. But their innings never really got going. Hardik Pandya-led GT broke the back of RR. Pandya picked up the crucial wickets of Buttler, Samson, and Shimron Hetmyer. RR managed a paltry score of 130 on the big night.
The Titans were expected to run away with the chase. But it wasn’t exactly how it transpired. GT could have lost Shubman Gill in the very first over but for a costly drop. It was up to the captain again to take matters into his own hands. He shepherded the chase beautifully to set GT up for the title in their very first season. Miller and Gill applied the finishing touches to win the title for Gujarat. A side that was a bunch of no-hopers ended up winning 12 out of the 16 games. They played as a team and won as a unit!