Rajasthan Royals (RR) could not have asked for a better finish to the league stage of the ongoing season eleven of Indian Premier League (IPL). There were setbacks, wins, inconsistency and resurgence. But in the end, they made it to the playoffs after one of the most closely fought league stage came to an end on Sunday (May 20).
The inaugural winners of the competition Royals were down in the dumps even after the first half of the tournament. The Ajinkya Rahane-led side looked set to make an early exit after winning just three of their first nine games.
However, a remarkable turnaround put them in contention for a playoff spot which looked highly-unlikely at one stage. They won four of their last five games – to boost their playoff chances.
On Saturday (May 19), they defeated Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) to finish the league stage with seven wins. But their passage to the last four was still not decided. It depended on the results of the last two league games of the season and fortunately, both went their way.
Defending champions Mumbai Indians (MI) had to lose if the Royals were to make it to the next stage. And fortunately, Indians succumbed against Delhi Daredevils (DD) in a spectacular fashion. Chasing 175 against the bottom-placed side, the reigning IPL champions were all out for 163. It was a game that was enough to make each and every Royals fan nervous. Ben Cutting’s whirlwind knock had Mumbai put on the verge of a miraculous win.
With 18 needed off the final over, Cutting started the over with a six.
However, Cutting was out on the very next delivery. And as soon as he was dismissed, the Rajasthan Royals camp began celebrating their qualification wildly.
A clip posted by the franchise’s Instagram handle clearly showed how happy the team was.
Here is the post:
Meanwhile, Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) were also in contention for a playoff spot but they too lost against Chennai Super Kings (CSK).