Rajat Patidar earned plaudits from the who’s who of cricket after he became the first uncapped player to hit a century in an IPL playoff match. Patidar smashed an unebaten 112 off just 54 balls to help Royal Challengers Bangalore beat Lucknow Super Giants by 14 runs in the IPL 2022 Eliminator match at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Wednesday. Former Australia opener Matthew Hayden was mighty impressed by Patidar’s innings.
Hayden said Patidar did what Rajasthan Royals skipper Sanju Samson could not do in the Qualifier 1 match against Gujarat Titans and that is to build on the blistering start and notch up a signficant score by batting long.
“Rajat Patidar did what Sanju Samson couldn’t. It was his night. Look at his wagon wheel, there were some huge hits through the on side but he played attractive strokes through the off side too. Simply superb innings,” said Hayden on Star Sports after the match.
Samson had scored 47 off 26 balls with 5 fours and 3 sixes but just when he was looking like he woud take the game away from GT, he was out caught off left-arm spinner R Sai Kishore. RR, in the end, lost the match as GT chased down the 189-run target with 7 wickets to spare.
Patidar, on the other hand, played a breathtaking innings despite RCB’s big guns Virat Kohli, Faf du Plessis and Glenn Maxwell failing to make much of an impact.
Coming in to bat in the first over of the RCB innings after captain du Plessis was dismissed for a golden duck, the right-hander hit 12 fours and 7 sixes, scoring at a strike rate of more than 200.
Former England captain Michael Vaughan also praised Patidar for his stunning hundred.
“Rajat Patidar .. talk about producing when it really counts .. Incredible innings ..,” he tweeted.
“Can I tweet twice about this Rajat Patidar’s inning ? BRILLAINT!” wrote former India all-rounder Irfan Pathan.
“Today was a special day. The guys put in a special performance. Over the moon. For a young guy to play as he did. The way he celebrated also tells you he has a good head on his shoulders. His hundred was one of the best I have seen in the IPL,” said Faf du Plessis in a post-match presentation.
RCB will meet Rajasthan Royals in the second Qualifier on Friday, which will decide Gujarat Titans’ opposition for Sunday’s final.