Brief Scores: Rajasthan Royals 130/9 (20) lost to Gujarat Titans 133/3 (18.1) by 7 wickets.
Read play-by-play updates here.
On a packed Sunday night at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, the Royals faced a tough loss against Gujarat Titans in the IPL 2022 final. But they went down fighting hard. They gave it everything. Till the very last run they scored, till the very last ball they bowled. It was a season to remember for the Men in Pink, who gave us some nail-biting finishes and unforgettable memories to cherish until next time. With their captain Sanju Samson leading by example, they brought an aggressive brand of cricket and a fearless approach on the field - one that fills us with nothing but pride for this team of dreamers, believers and doers.
But credit where it’s due. In their first IPL season, Gujarat Titans stormed their way to the top of the table, then conquered the qualifiers to seal a spot in the final and gave a deserving end with a maiden title to their name.
Earlier in the day, Sanju Samson won the toss and elected to bat first on a wicket that appeared to be dry. However, as the first innings progressed, one could see the ball stopping in its tracks and the outfield being a bit slower. The Royals’ innings was guided by a crucial knock from Jos Buttler, who once again played the role of an anchor as the rest of the batting order couldn’t capitalise on their starts. We finished with 130 on the board, probably a few runs short, as the GT batters chased it down convincingly on the first ball of the 19th over.
Let’s take a look at some of the highlights from our 2022 season: Jos Buttler’s best season With 863 runs, four explosive centuries, most fours and most sixes and the Orange Cap to his name, the swashbuckling opener capped off his most successful run in the IPL. But more than his mean run-scoring, it was his ability to switch gears and step out of his comfort zone from time to time that showcased the other side of his batting personality. In the first half of the season, Jos smashed three stunning centuries but that blazing start was followed by a string of low scores - something that bothered him midway. And despite being under pressure, he bounced back in time for the playoffs, registering another half-century and a century in both qualifiers and top-scoring in the all-important final. As an explosive batter and as a guiding force, Jos’ presence in the Royals camp has added a different dimension to our batting line-up. One that only bodes well for seasons to come. The Art of Yuzi Chahal Yuzvendra Chahal’s first IPL season in pink turned out to be a rewarding one, with the leg-spinner finishing off with 27 wickets, an overall economy of 7.75 and the prestigious Purple Cap to his name. His wily variations was one of the biggest threats to the opponents this season, often being the cause of crucial breakthroughs just when the team needed them. Chahal bagged the only hat-trick of the season, his first of the IPL, and also registered his maiden five-wicket haul in the tournament. Ashwin, the floater Fans were surprised when the Royals’ team management first decided to send Ravichandran Ashwin ahead in the batting order this season. But they soon found that the off-spinner was more than a handy batter, capable of striking it big irrespective of his batting position. The move to promote him may not have always worked in the team’s favour, but it did boost Ashwin’s confidence to another level, making him the perfect all-rounder to slot in the Royals’ middle order. He finished with 191 matches - the most he’s scored in any season and the only fifty of his IPL career. Finds of the season The raw pace of Kuldeep Sen, the slower balls of Obed McCoy and the new-ball pair of Trent Boult-Prasidh Krishna along with a bench of promising bowlers - our pace unit has been one of our biggest positives right from the time it was first assembled at the mega auction to coming into the season. Add to that the magical spin combination of Yuzi and Ash, and our bowling attack turned out to be one of the most threatening line-ups among all teams.
In Shimron Hetmyer, we found a finisher who showed what he’s capable of with the bat throughout the season. In Yashasvi Jaiswal, we saw a young protege showcase his unabashed self with the bat and a promise for the future. In Jimmy Neesham and Daryl Mitchell, we found our biggest supporters, not just with their all-round skills on the field but also off the field with their positive energy. In Devdutt Padikkal and Karun Nair, we unearthed selfless batters and team men who put their hands up whenever the team needed. In Riyan Parag, we have one of the best fielders in the IPL, who finished with the most catches by any player this time. And most importantly, this season saw the rise of Sanju Samson - as a leader who marshalled his troops with some of the most tactically sound decisions on the field, and a batter whose only weapon of destruction was to attack, setting the mood for this team in the seasons to come.
With a bag full of learnings, plenty of positives and tremendous support from our fans, the Royals will be back next year. Stronger, together.
Until then, Halla Bol!