After the nearly two-month long league stage of the IPL 2022, the action now shifts to Kolkata and Ahmedabad for the playoffs. Qualifier 1 will be played between the two sides that secured a top-two finish, i.e. Gujarat Titans and Rajasthan Royals. The game will be played on May 24 at Kolkata’s iconic Eden Gardens.
When the two teams met earlier in the tournament, the Titans put up a dominating performance. Batting first, the Hardik Pandya-led side collectively made 192 runs in their 20 overs. The captain led from the front, hitting an unbeaten 87 off 52 balls. Abhinav Manohar scored 43 off 28 while David Miller remained unbeaten on 31 off 14 at a strike rate of 221.43. Chasing 193 to win, Royals got off to a poor start, losing wickets in quick successions even though their opener Jos Buttler scored a half-century. Down the order, Riyan Parag, Shimron Hetmyer and James Neesham played small cameos but those weren’t enough to take the Royals over the line and they eventually fell short of the target by 37 runs.
The pitch for Qualifier 1 is expected to be a high scoring one and thus we can expect an entertaining game of cricket on the cards. It can be noted that this is the first time since 2011 when the Royals will be played Qualifier 1, and will want to make no mistakes to win it.
Wriddhiman Saha, Shubman Gill, Matthew Wade (wk), Hardik Pandya (c), David Miller, Rahul Tewatia, Rashid Khan, Ravi Srinivasan Sai Kishore, Lockie Ferguson, Yash Dayal and Mohammed Shami.
Yashasvi Jaiswal, Jos Buttler, Sanju Samson (c & wk), Devdutt Padikkal, Shimron Hetmyer, Riyan Parag, Ravichandran Ashwin, Trent Boult, Prasidh Krishna, Yuzvendra Chahal and Obed McCoy.
Image credit: IPL