THE WEEK IN REVIEW: RCB complete stunning comeback to reach the playoffs

cricket20 May 2024 08:28| © MWP
By:Neil Manthorp
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Royal Challengers Bengaluru © PhotoShelter

Royal Challengers Bengaluru became the first team in IPL history to lose six consecutive matches and win six in-a-row as they completed the most dramatic reverse in form in the tournament’s history.

Faf du Plessis top-scored with 54 and Virat Kohli extended his lead at the top of the run-scorers chart with 47 as RCB made 218-5 before restricting Chennai Super Kings to 191-7 to win by 27 runs and eliminate CSK from the tournament.

RCB knew they had to win their final six matches just to have a chance of qualifying – it was always going to be on net run-rate with just 14 points – and they knew they would have to win them comfortably. Tight victories wouldn’t have been good enough.

As it happened there were FOUR teams tied on 14 points in fourth place but the scything nature of RCB’s wins put them on top of the logjam ahead of Chennai, Delhi Capitals and Lucknow Super Giants.

RCB will still have to win two more matches just to reach the final and then a ninth consecutive victory to lift their first title. The odds are heavily stacked against them doing that, but that’s exactly how du Plessis likes his odds stacked.

The final group match between Kolkata Knight Riders and Rajasthan Royals was washed out without a ball bowled meaning the Royals, who won eight of their first nine matches, lost four of their last five and dropped to third place behind the Sunrisers Hyderabad who beat Punjab Kings by four-wickets in their final match chasing 215. Heinrich Klaasen hammered 42 from 26 balls.

It means KKR will play the Sunrisers in the first Qualifier match in Ahmedabad on Tuesday with the winner progressing to the final on Sunday. The loser will have a second chance to reach the final when they play the winner of the Eliminator match (on Wednesday) between RCB and the Royals on Friday.


Kagiso Rabada? A superbly timed, minor leg infection meant he was able to leave the tournament early and spend some time at home before heading to New York to join up with the rest of the T20 World Cup squad. On the field the honours were shared by Faf du Plessis and Heinrich Klaasen.


Royal Challengers Bengaluru. Stone last having lost seven of their first eight games, the perennial under-achievers appeared to be heading for their worst season ever. But Faf du Plessis is renown for achieving against the odds and his determination and unshakeable belief rubbed off on his team.


Faf du Plessis. It’s been a patchy, inconsistent tournament for the former Proteas skipper but in the do-or-die final group match against Chennai Super Kings he delivered his third half century of the tournament – 54 from 39 balls with a trio of fours and sixes.


Yash Dayal took 2-42 for RCB against CSK. Nothing outstanding about that. But Dayal was the bowler who failed to defend 28 off the final over against Rinku Singh last year when Rinku hit him for five consecutive sixes. This time he had to defend 19 – against MS Dhoni - and his first ball went for six. But did it.


Faf's 'controversial' run out? Was the bat in the air? RCB fans didn't seem to think so - nor did Faf. Still, all is well that ends well.


"I'm not too sure where I'm going, to be honest with you. As I said, it's quite early days at the moment. A lot of people are emotional. There's probably going to be discussions about all of us. I don't think there's only one person. We're in a high performance zone.

"And I think that, you know, when you underperform, you need to get looked at. So anything I can do is give my best as a coach, which is exactly what I've done. I've got no regrets with what I've done over here. Could I have done things better? We'll sit down and evaluate that as we do with all the players as well."

Mumbai Indians head coach Mark Boucher, accepting responsibility for a dismal tournament in which they finished last with just four wins from 14 games.

KEEP AN EYE ON: The finish line. It’s finally in sight. Every match a KO this week.