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IPL 2022 Final, GT vs RR: Match Report - Royals fall short as eventful season comes to an end
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With six wins in nine matches and a solid NRR of 0.450, the Royals are currently in third position on the points table.


Playing two matches in a span of three days means that the Royals have little time to dwell on their loss against Mumbai Indians from Saturday. It was a noteworthy fightback from the team in pink who, despite being faced with some challenging conditions, didn’t back down till the very end. The focus is now on the next assignment, as we take on Kolkata Knight Riders for the second time this season.


Who can forget the last time these two teams locked horns? The crowd at Mumbai’s Brabourne Stadium was treated to a proper thriller as the Royals and KKR were involved in a see-saw contest till the final ball. Jos Buttler’s swashbuckling ton first set up the Royals for one of the highest totals of IPL 2022, followed by Yuzvendra Chahal’s stunning fifer (including a hat-trick) that helped seal a 7-run win. We will want to ensure a repeat of this winning performance as we head into Match No.10 of the campaign. 



Match Details


Kolkata Knight Riders vs Rajasthan Royals - 2 May 2022

Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai

7:30 PM IST


This match will be played at the Wankhede Stadium, where the Royals have won two of their three matches so far this season. KKR have a similar record at this venue, but are coming off five consecutive losses. The Royals though, have won three of their last four.


Overall, both teams have given each other a run for their money in the IPL, with the Royals winning 12 of 25 encounters, and Kolkata edging the other 13. Of the 11 games played so far at this venue this season, six have been won by teams batting second. Incidentally, captains have elected to bowl in all of those 11 matches.


In the spotlight


Sanju Samson


The Royals skipper scored his first fifty of the season in our opening game, and has since then continued his good touch with quick, handy knocks. A peculiar aspect of his batting is the rate at which he has been striking big shots. Sanju has taken little to no time in getting off the mark almost on all instances, thereby maximising the impact of his stay at the crease. He has also hit a total of 10 sixes in the first 10 balls of his innings this season - the second-most by any batter in the tournament. Against the spinners, he has been exceptional, scoring over 100 runs at a strike rate of 205. Since 2018, Sanju has had 30+ scores in three of his seven innings against Kolkata, including a half-century. The Royals will hope their captain continues to boost the team’s run-scoring rate going forward. 


Sanju Samson in IPL 2022 - Innings builder (by balls)


Balls Range

Runs

Strike Rate

Sixes

1-10

133

157

10

11-20

97

190

8

21-30

14

156

2

Ash-Yuzi: The Spin Twins


The Royals’ spin bowling department is currently the best among all teams this season. Between Ravichandran Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal and Riyan Parag, they have picked 28 wickets in nine games at an average of 20.6 per wicket. Among the three, Yuzi and Ash have taken 27 scalps together, with the latter being the most economical spinner of the lot. In each of our six victories so far, the Yuzi-Ash duo has combined to take at least three wickets.


Team News


We had an unchanged Playing XI in the last match against Mumbai Indians, but coming off a loss always poses some tough questions for any team, and it brings along an option to potentially mix things up. It all comes down to deciding the combination of players that is most suitable to face the opponent and the conditions on the given day, as Sanju mentioned recently. Will Karun Nair return to strengthen the batting order? Will the all-round Jimmy Neesham find a place in the side, or will the Royals continue to trust their current combination? 


Milestone Watch


  • Sanju Samson is one four away from completing 200 fours for the Royals in the IPL


  • Yuzvendra Chahal has equalled Shane Warne’s tally of most wickets taken by a Royals bowler in an IPL season (19), jumping to second place in the list. He is two wickets short of becoming the leading wicket-taking spinner for the team in a season. 


Which Royal are you looking forward to watching in action? Share your thoughts with us on Twitter at @rajasthanroyals or with me @arey_yaar