Heartache goes on for Virat Kohli as Bengaluru lose to Rajasthan in IPL 2024 play-offs

Title wait continues for Indian great after team is beaten by four wickets in Ahmedabad

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Virat Kohli's wait for an Indian Premier League title goes on after Royal Challengers Bengaluru fell to a four-wicket play-off loss to Rajasthan Royals in Ahmedabad on Wednesday.

Rajasthan restricted Bengaluru to 172-8, a total they overhauled with six balls to spare in the do-or-die play-off at the world's biggest cricket stadium. It meant Bengaluru's dream run was over after they rose from the bottom of the table after eight matches to win six in a row and make the play-offs.

Rajasthan will face Sunrisers Hyderabad in the last play-off on Friday in Chennai to decide Kolkata Knight Riders' opponent in the final on May 26.

Kolkata made their fourth IPL showpiece after they hammered Hyderabad in the first play-off on Tuesday in Ahmedabad's intense heat.

Rajasthan restricted Bengaluru to 172-8, with Kohli contributing 33, a total they overhauled with six balls to spare in the do-or-die play-off at the world's biggest cricket stadium.

“With the dew coming in, we thought we were short with the bat and needed a few more runs to make it more competitive,” said Bengaluru captain Faf du Plessis. “Credit to the boys for fighting it out.

“If you look at naturally assessing the pitch, it looked like a 180-pitch. But we found out this season, with the one extra batter and long line-ups, it can be challenging.

“A lot of teams would have, their wheels would have fallen off after one win from nine. But we made sure to gave our best and to come back like that – six games in a row – takes a lot of heart.”

Trent Boult, with figures of 1-16, and Ravichandran Ashwin, 2-19, played pivotal roles in a disciplined bowling attack for Rajasthan, who elected to field first.

Du Plessis had departed early on in the innings 17 after Rovman Powell took a stunning forward diving catch running from deep mid-wicket off left-arm quick Boult.

Kohli attempted to set the pace in his 24-ball 33 but fell to Yuzvendra Chahal's leg-spin, much to the disappointment of the crowd at the 132,000 capacity stadium. He consolidated his position as the season's leading batsman with 741 runs including a century and five half tons in 15 matches.

Rajasthan bowlers kept a check on the scoring and took regular wickets including two off successive balls when off-spinner Ashwin sent back Cameron Green, for 27, and Glenn Maxwell, for a duck.

In reply, Rajasthan stuttered in their chase after Yashasvi Jaiswal, caught behind off Green on 45, and captain Sanju Samson, stumped out for 17, departed in the space of five deliveries.

Riyan Parag, who hit 36, and Shimron Hetmyer, who smashed 26, put on 45 to get their chase back on track before Powell steered the team home with a six in his unbeaten 16.

“We will have some great days, we will have some really bad days but the important thing is to bounce back,” said Samson. “The way we batted, bowled and fielded, I am really happy.

“All the credit has to go to the players. We have the momentum now, so the dressing room is confident.”

Updated: May 22, 2024, 6:56 PM