Watch: Rajat Patidar played one of the all-time great IPL innings to lift Royal Challengers Bangalore past 200 in their Eliminator clash against Lucknow Super Giants.
The 28-year-old is a relative unknown, and went unsold at the IPL 2022 auction. He was signed as a replacement player at the lowest possible price of INR 20 lakhs partway through the tournament, and has now written his name into IPL folklore with an innings of daring and brilliance.
Patidar had shown flashes of his potential before today, averaging 27.17 and striking at 133.61 in the 2022 competition before today. But a high score of 52 in the league stage barely suggested a player capable of this kind of knock.
He started cautiously in the must-win game, easing himself to 14 off 13 balls, before achieving lift-off against Krunal Pandya, smashing the India spinner for three fours and a six in consecutive balls. From 33 off 18 at the end of the powerplay, he ticked along with regular boundaries, adding another 33 off his next 21, before injecting another assault, this time against another India spinner, Ravi Bishnoi.
The leggie was taken for alternating sixes and fours in five consecutive balls, the last of which, a six, brought him to 92 off 44. A six off Mohsin Khan confirmed a 49-ball hundred, the fastest in IPL history by an uncapped player, and the joint quickest in an IPL playoff game, equalling Wriddhiman Saha’s hundred in the IPL 2014 final.
Perhaps his best shot came an over later, with an impudent ramp against a 142kph Dushmantha Chameera delivery falling just short of the rope. Patidar ended with 112 not out off 54 balls, with Royal Challengers Bangalore making 207-4 in their 20 overs.