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IPL 2022: Buttler slams fourth ton of season as RR set up title clash with debutants GT

Ahmedabad (Gujarat) : Jos Buttler's unbeaten 106, his fourth ton of the season, powered Rajasthan Royals to a comprehensive seven-wicket win over Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Qualifier-2 here at Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Friday. The inaugural champions will lock horns against debutants Gujarat Titans in the final on Sunday. Chasing a modest 158, Rajasthan Royals got off to a flying start as openers Yashasvi Jaiswal and Jos Buttler wreaked havoc with the bat to strike a fifty partnership for the opening wicket in just 4.3 overs. The 61-run partnership for the opening wicket was finally broken as Yashasvi Jaiswal was dismissed for 21 of 13 balls by Josh Hazlewood. Buttler was hardly affected by the dismissal of his opening partner as he went on to score his half-century in just 23 balls. Buttler along with Rajasthan's skipper Sanju Samson took their team beyond the triple-figure mark in just 9.1 overs. The Buttler-Samson pair went on to notch up a 50-run partnership for the second wicket in 34 balls. RCB's slight chances of a comeback took a hit as wicket-keeper Dinesh Karthik dropped Buttler of Harshal Patel's bowling while he was on 66. The 52-run partnership was broken as Samson was dismissed by Wanindu Hasaranga for 23 and stumped by wicket-keeper Karthik. Devdutt Padikkal joined Buttler as the Rajasthan team looked on course to chase the target comfortably. Hazlewood struck for the second time dismissing Padikkal for 9 caught behind by keeper Karthik. In just 17.2 overs RR went past the 150-run mark and Buttler went on to score his fourth ton of the season equalling the record of Virat Kohli who scored four centuries in the 2016 season for RCB. The Englishman's century came in just 59 balls as he remained unbeaten on 106 to help chase Rajasthan the target in 18.1 overs. The final be played at the same venue as Qualifier-2. Earlier, after being put to bat first by Rajasthan Royals, Royal Challengers Bangalore got off a shaky start. After dispatching the final delivery off the first over bowled by Trent Boult for a six over square leg, Virat Kohli gave away his wicket to pacer Prasidh Krishna in the next over for just 7 off 8 after an outside edge landed into keeper Sanju Samson's hands. This brought the hero of the last match, Rajat Patidar to the crease, who had the responsibility to rebuild and repeat the heroics of the last game in this crucial game and be a support to captain Faf Du Plessis. Du Plessis looked really good, smashing Boult for two fours in the third and fifth over. Patidar also looked in good rhythm, smashing Krishna for two consecutive fours in the sixth over before being dropped by Parag on the next ball. At the end of the powerplay in the next over, RCB stood at a decent 46/1 in six overs with Du Plessis (17*) and Patidar (14) looking good. RCB crossed the 50-run mark at the loss of one wicket in 6.4 overs. Spin was introduced in the eighth over in form of Ravichandran Ashwin. The duo of Plessis-Patidar soon brought up their 50-run standoff 39 balls. Patidar survived an LBW attempt off an Ashwin delivery in the 10th over. At the end of 10 overs, RCB stood at a solid 74/1 with Patidar (32*) and Du Plessis (25*). McCoy delivered a breakthrough for his team in the 11th over, sending back Du Plessis for 25 off 27 after he was caught by Ashwin, ending the 70-run stand between the duo. This brought Glenn Maxwell to the field, who hit Ashwin for a straight six in the 12th over. He brought RCB to the 100-run mark in the 13th over of the game, which ended up giving 15 runs thanks to a four and six by Maxwell. Boult provided his side with another wicket at the final ball of the 14th over, sending back Maxwell for 24 off 13 after McCoy caught the batter at fine leg while he was attempting a pull shot. This brought the southpaw Mahipal Lomror to the middle. At the final ball of the 15th over by Chahal, Patidar hit a six that relieved some pressure for RCB and brought his second IPL fifty this season off 40 balls. At the end of 15 overs, RCB stood at 123/3, with Patidar (52*) and Lomror (2*). Patidar soon departed back to the pavilion for 58 off 42 after being caught by Jos Buttler off an Ashwin delivery. Dinesh Karthik was the next one on the crease, with responsibility in his hands to accelerate in the death overs. McCoy sent back a struggling Lomror for 8 off 10 after Ashwin caught him, sinking RCB to 141/5. Shahbaz Ahmed was up next, smashing McCoy for a four and easing some pressure for RCB. In the 19th over of the match, Krishna sent danger man Karthik back to the pavilion after he was caught by Parag while attempting to hit straight. Wanindu Hasaranga was sent back to pavilion the very next ball, with Krishna on a hat-trick, which he could not get. Shahbaz hit a six at the second last ball of the 19th over to ease off some pressure. McCoy sent back Harshal Patel for just 1. RCB ended at 157/8 in their 20 overs. Krishna (3/22) and McCoy (3/23) were lead bowlers for RR. Ashwin and Boult scalped a wicket each. Brief Scores: Royal Challengers Bangalore 157/8 in 20 overs (Rajat Patidar 58, Faf Du Plessis 25; Prasidh Krishna 3/22) against Rajasthan Royals 161/3 in 18.1 overs (Jos Buttler 106*, Sanju Samson 23; Josh Hazlewood 2/23).

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