Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) wicket-keeper Dinesh Karthik praised the exploits of Rajat Patidar against the Lucknow Super Giants (LSG). The three-time finalists earned a place in Qualifier 2 courtesy of the 28-year-old's whirlwind innings at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata.
Coming into bat during the first over of the innings itself, Patidar launched an attack on Krunal Pandya to get things underway in the powerplay. The right-hand batter gradually switched gears and eventually made history by becoming the first player to score a hundred in an Eliminator contest.
Terming Rajat Patidar's 112 as the best innings by an uncapped player he has ever seen, Karthik said on RCB Game Day:
"Probably the best innings by an uncapped player that I have ever seen. Just outstanding. He's very cool, very calm, very shy personality actually, very quiet person. You get the feeling that he is lazy, but it is just his personality. I think he is a lovely guy who is hardworking, but with a very shy personality."
Patidar ended up unbeaten on 112 off 54 deliveries. Scoring more than half of RCB's runs in the first innings, the batter was adjudged as the player of the match after their 14-run victory.
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"I think KL Rahul was the key wicket" - Dinesh Karthik
In reply, while chasing a mammoth 208, LSG tried to keep up with the asking rate. With 100 required off the last seven overs, the KL Rahul-led side quickly switched gears. Precise death bowling by Josh Hazlewood and Harshal Patel in the end tilted the game towards the favor of the Faf du Plessis-led side.
Speaking about the value of the LSG skipper KL Rahul's wicket, Karthik said:
"I think KL Rahul was the key wicket because he has the potential to take the game away. His game plan is such that he bats deep and he has achieved that and at that stage of the game, he is very very effective. It is very hard to stop him because he has a lot of shots and can shift gears very fast. I think Hasaranga was the best fielder today, he at least stopped 15 to 20 runs."
The 30-year-old attempted an unorthdox shot off Josh Hazlewood, which was safely pouched by Shahbaz Ahmed inside the circle. He managed to cross the 600-run mark for the third consecutive season, but his knock of 79 ended in vain.
RCB will take on RR in Qualifier 2 in Ahmedabad on May 27 (Friday).