Rajat Patidar's remarkable unbeaten 112 kept Royal Challengers Bangalore's hopes of Indian Premier League glory alive as Lucknow Super Giants superb debut campaign came to an end.

Having seen fellow newcomers Gujarat Titans progress to the final, the Super Giants were looking to take a step towards joining them in Wednesday's eliminator.

Yet they were undone by an astonishing innings from Patidar, who propelled RCB to a 14-run win.

Patidar raced to a 28-ball half-century and a 49-ball hundred, his innings comprising of 12 fours and seven sixes and lifting RCB to 207-4.

Dinesh Karthik provided late support, hitting five fours and a six for his unbeaten 37, ensuring a hugely imposing target that proved to beyond the Super Giants.

Lucknow's chase was extremely admirable and saw them rack up 14 sixes at Eden Gardens in their 193-6.

Captain KL Rahul predictably led the charge with 79 - surpassing 600 runs for the season. 

However, when he scooped Josh Hazlewood to short fine leg and the same bowler had Krunal Pandya caught and bowled from the next delivery, the Super Giants had a mountain to climb heading into the final over on 184-6.

Harshal Patel made sure RCB's commanding position was not let slip as he delivered at the death to keep Evin Lewis and Dushmantha Chameera from engineering a late turnaround, sending them through to Qualifier 2 against Rajasthan Royals with a place in the final on the line.

Patidar an unlikely hero

Patidar was unsold at the 2022 auction, with RCB signing him at the lowest possible price as an injury replacement midway through the competition.

His acquisition now looks extremely astute after Patidar delivered the fastest IPL hundred since Mayank Agarwal's 45-ball century in September 2020.

Hazlewood topples Super Giants

Hazlewood had sent down three wides in the 19th over before finding his accuracy to claim the wickets of Rahul and Krunal.

His team-mate Harshal bowled 11 dot balls in his 1-25 and removed the dangerous Marcus Stoinis prior to Hazlewood's key salvo and RCB will need that duo to replicate their performances if they are to progress to the final.

A sensational innings of 68 from David Miller took Gujarat Titans to the IPL final after they beat Rajasthan Royals by seven wickets in Tuesday's qualifier.

This was just the second meeting between the Titans and the Royals in the Indian Premier League, with Gujarat also winning by 37 runs last month.

Jos Buttler had blasted 89 to help the Royals set a target of 189 in Kolkata, but despite an early setback, the Titans built their reply well before fireworks from Miller finished it off.

Yashasvi Jaiswal fell for just three early in the Royals' innings, but Buttler and captain Sanju Samson put on a partnership of 68 to recover, with Samson hitting 47 off just 26 balls.

Buttler was unusually cautious until putting his foot down later in the innings, particularly once Devdutt Padikkal (28) had departed, with the England international hitting two late sixes to add to his 12 fours, before being run out in the final over.

The Titans lost Wriddhiman Saha for a second ball duck off the bowling of Trent Boult (1-38), but their batting was steady from there, with Shubman Gill and Matthew Wade both adding 35 each, before Hardik Pandya and Miller came to the crease.

Pandya played a captain's innings of 40 from 27 balls, but it was Miller who claimed the highlights, especially near the end of the chase as the nerves ratcheted up.

Needing 16 off the last over, Miller only took three balls to do the job as he smashed three sixes to send the Titans to the final in style.

The Royals have now played 10 games at Eden Gardens in the IPL, losing eight. Only at their home stadium in Jaipur (15) and at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai (nine) have they lost more.

They will now have to play the winner of Wednesday's eliminator between Lucknow Super Giants and Royal Challengers Bangalore to make it to the final.

Killer Miller

Although they had plenty of wickets in hand, it did look at one stage like Gujarat had given themselves a bit too much to do, until Miller stepped up.

The South African took just 38 balls to knock 68 in Kolkata, with three fours and five sixes.

Khan puts Royals in a spin

It was hardly a great day in the field for the Titans, except for Rashid Khan, who had an economy of 3.75 (15 runs), with none of the other three bowlers who bowled four overs having less than 10.75 (43 runs).

The Afghanistan spinner did not take any wickets, but if it was not for his stinginess with the ball in hand, the total would likely have been too much for even Miller's ability.

Punjab Kings closed their 2022 Indian Premier League season with a five-wicket victory over Sunrisers Hyderabad in Mumbai.

Liam Livingstone led the way for the Kings with an impressive knock of 49 from 22 balls as they condemned Hyderabad to a sixth defeat in seven matches with four overs to spare.

Hyderabad won the toss and elected to bat first in the final match of the regular season, which pitted two teams that had failed to qualify for the play-offs.

Despite the early dismissal of Priyam Garg for just four, Abhishek Sharma (43) and Rahul Tripathi (20) moved Hyderabad to 61-1 before the latter was caught at short fine leg.

Aiden Markram (21), Washington Sundar (25) and Romario Shepherd (26 not out) added further contributions to the cause of Hyderabad, who set a target of 157-8.

Jonny Bairstow (23) made the early running for the Kings before he was bowled by Fazalhaq Farooqi.

Shahrukh Khan (19) and Mayank Agarwal (one) went in the space of two overs, but the 41-run partnership of Livingstone and Shikhar Dhawan put the Kings well in control.

Despite Dhawan going for 39 to Farooqi, Livingstone was not to be moved as he hit four boundaries during the 15th over (two sixes and two fours) against Shepherd to move his side to the brink of victory, which was secured when Prerak Mankad hit the rope with his very first ball.

Livingstone does the damage

Once again, Livingstone produced an inspired batting display for the Kings with his knock of 49, including five sixes, although he narrowly missed out on a fifth half-century of the season, which would have moved him level with David Warner (five).

Meanwhile, only Jos Buttler (37) bettered his tally of 34 sixes during the regular campaign.

Three wickets for Brar

While Livingstone led the way from the crease, Harpreet Brar shone with the ball.

The spinner took three important wickets to stop Hyderabad in their tracks; ending Sharma and Tripathi's 47-run partnership by dismissing the latter, and finishing with an impressive 3-26 from his four overs.

Delhi Capitals missed out on the Indian Premier League play-offs after Tim David capitalised on a reprieve in a five-wicket win for Mumbai Indians on Saturday.

The Capitals, requiring a victory at the Wankhede Stadium to make the last four, were limited to 159-7, with Jasprit Bumrah (3-25)  the pick of the bowlers.

Rovman Powell (43) and Rishabh Pant (39) fell short of half-centuries, but Delhi's total looked competitive as the Indians made a slow start in response.

Mumbai struggled to 27-1 at the end of the powerplay after Anrich Nortje dismissed captain Rohit Sharma, who managed only two off 13 deliveries.

Ishan Kishan offered more attacking intent, scoring 48 off 35 balls before falling to Kuldeep Yadav (1-33) in the 12th over and Dewald Brevis (37) followed to Shardul Thakur soon after with 65 runs still required.

Pant failed to review when David, on nought, edged behind and the Australian capitalised by blasting an 11-ball 34 before he was removed by Thakur (2-32) to leave Mumbai needing just 15 from 13 balls.

Ramandeep Singh (13 not out) saw Rohit's side over the line with five deliveries to spare, which meant Royal Challengers Bangalore took the final play-off spot and will face Lucknow Super Giants in the eliminator on Wednesday.

Brilliant Bumrah

Bumrah has been somewhat off the pace for the struggling Mumbai in this year's competition, barring his excellent 5-10 against Kolkata Knight Riders.

However, the India quick was in imperious form in the first innings of this game, removing Prithvi Shaw (24), Mitchell Marsh (nought) and Powell to take his tally to 15 in the 2022 IPL.

Pant's reviews

Pan dropped a simple chance when Brevis skied Kuldeep on 25. The skipper then ignored Thakur's advice and opted to not review when David edged behind.

The Capitals captain followed that up by reviewing a Nortje delivery to Tilak Varma that pitched well outside leg stump, capping a miserable day for the India wicketkeeper.

Ravichandran Ashwin blasted an unbeaten 40 as Rajasthan Royals secured a top-two finish in the Indian Premier League with a dramatic five-wicket win over Chennai Super Kings.

Moeen Ali breezed to a 19-ball half-century as the Super Kings raced to 75-1 at the end of the powerplay, but they did not capitalise on their early impetus in Mumbai on Friday.

Spinners Yuzvendra Chahal (2-26) and Obed McCoy (2-20) were the pick of the bowlers to peg back Chennai, with MS Dhoni (26) the only other batter to pass 20 in support of Ali (93) in the Super Kings' 150-6.

Jos Buttler fell for just two to Simarjeet Singh (1-18) in response, before Sanju Samson (15) followed to Mitchell Santner (1-15) and Ali bowled Devdutt Padikkal (3) to leave the Royals 76-3 in the 12th over.

Opener Yashasvi Jaiswal batted on as his partners fell, making 59 off 44 balls before being dismissed by Prashant Solanki, with Rajasthan requiring a further 47 to win from the last five overs.

Solanki soon added the dangerous Shimron Hetmyer (6) to his list of scalps, but Ashwin – promoted up the order – took charge of the chase to see his side over the line with two balls to spare.

Victory meant Rajasthan will have two chances in the playoffs to make the final on May 29. Lucknow Super Giants must settle for third place.

Ali efforts in vain

All eyes were on Buttler, who leads the run charts with 629 in this year's IPL, but it was England team-mate Ali who delivered a scintillating performance at the Brabourne Stadium.

The 34-year-old fell in the final over just seven short of a century after a tremendous 57-ball innings that included 13 fours and three sixes.

He then superbly posted figures of 1-21 with the ball from his four-over allocation – but his efforts ultimately proved in vain, with Ashwin's 40 from 23 proving decisive.

Chahal equals spin record

Chahal once again edged ahead of Royal Challengers Bangalore's Wanindu Hasaranga in the battle to be the competition's top wicket-taker.

The Royals' leg-spinner picked up two wickets, while going at just 6.5 an over, and equalled Imran Tahir's tally of 26 (in 2019) for the most wickets by a spinner in a single IPL season.

Chennai Super Kings captain MS Dhoni vowed to play for the Indian Premier League franchise next season amid speculation over his future.

Ravindra Jadeja was named Chennai skipper just before this year's tournament after the long-serving Dhoni opted to step down.

However, Dhoni was reinstated to lead the side after the Super Kings won just two of their opening eight games, in an attempt to offer Jadeja the chance to rediscover his form.

Speculation persisted whether Dhoni would retire following Chennai's final game of the season against Rajasthan Royals on Friday, but the India great has quashed those claims.

Asked whether he will play next year, Dhoni told Star Sports: "Definitely. It's a simple reason: it will be unfair to not play in Chennai and say thank you.

"Mumbai is one place, where as a team and as an individual, I have got a lot of love and affection. But it wouldn't be nice to the CSK fans.

"And also, hopefully, next year there will be an opportunity where the teams will be travelling so it will be a like thank you to all the different places where we will be playing games at different venues.

"Whether it will be my last year or not that's a big question, because you know we can't really predict something two years down the line, but definitely I'll be working hard to come back strong next year."

Virat Kohli returned to form with a crucial 73 as Royal Challengers Bangalore kept their Indian Premier League playoffs hopes alive with an eight-wicket victory over Gujarat Titans.

Titans opener Wriddhiman Saha scored a brisk 31 and David Miller added 34 in a 61-run partnership with captain Hardik Pandya, who finished unbeaten on 62 as Gujarat posted 168-5 at the Wankhede Stadium.

That total was boosted by a late flurry from Rashid Khan, who smashed 19 off just six balls, but the target seemed below par as RCB's openers raced out of the blocks.

Kohli and Faf du Plessis made a blistering start to the chase, the India star reaching his second half-century of the tournament off 33 deliveries with a six against Khan (2-32).

Khan then removed Du Plessis, caught by Pandya, for 44 with the score on 115-1 in the 15th over, before beating Glenn Maxwell for pace and clipping the stumps without the bails coming off with the next ball.

Maxwell capitalised on the reprieve by blasting the next Pandya over for 21 and, although Khan had Kohli stumped in the 17th over, the Australian's unbeaten 40 off just 18 balls saw RCB over the line with eight deliveries to spare.

RCB's playoff hopes now rely on Delhi Capitals losing to Mumbai Indians on Saturday, while IPL debutants Gujarat are already assured top spot after winning 10 of 14 games.

King Kohli

Before this game, Kohli averaged just 21.45 in the IPL this term – his lowest in the tournament since 2008, when he averaged 15 – and had been dismissed for under 10 runs six times, including three golden ducks.

The 33-year-old has acknowledged he may need a break to rejuvenate mentally and physically, but he was at his imperious best here, smashing eight fours and two sixes in his 54-ball 73.

Hasaranga keeps it tight

Wanindu Hasaranga, who claimed 1-25 from his four-over allocation, continues to dominate through the middle overs for RCB.

The Sri Lanka international dismissed Miller with a wonderful caught and bowled to pick up his 24th wicket of the tournament – the joint-most with Rajasthan Royals' Yuzvendra Chahal.

India star Virat Kohli might take a break to "rejuvenate mentally and physically", but assures he is in "the happiest phase of my life".

Kohli stepped down as India's Test captain in January following a series defeat to South Africa, having already relinquished his role as skipper of his country's white-ball teams.

The 33-year-old has struggled for form in 2022, averaging 21.45 in the ongoing Indian Premier League before Thursday's clash with Gujarat Titans – his lowest figure in the tournament since 2008.

Kohli, who also gave up the captaincy at Royal Challengers Bangalore last year, has not scored a century in any format since November 2019 when he managed 136 in Kolkata against Bangladesh.

While he averages 49.95 in the longest format, Kohli acknowledged it may be time for a rest.

"It's not a lot of people who mentioned it [taking a break]," Kohli told Star Sports. "There is one person precisely who has mentioned it which is Ravi [Shastri] and that's because he has seen from close quarters over the last six, seven years the reality of the situation that I have been in.

"The amount of cricket that I have played and the ups and downs and the toll that it takes on you to play three formats of the game plus the IPL for 10, 11 years non-stop with the seven years of captaincy in between.

"It is definitely a thing that one needs to consider because you don't want to do something which you are not a part of 100 per cent and I have always believed in that in my life.

"So to take a break and when to take a break is obviously something that I need to take a call on, but it is only a healthy decision for anyone to take some time off and just rejuvenate yourself mentally and physically.

"Not so much physically because physical fitness you keep up with through the course of playing cricket all the time, but it is a mental kind of reset that you need, and you want to be excited for what you are doing. You don't want to feel like you have been forcing yourself into any situation.

"It's only a thing of creating a balance and finding that balance which is right for you as an individual moving forward and I'll definitely discuss this with all the people involved – [India coach] Rahul [Dravid], the Indian team management, everyone to chart out whatever is best for myself and for the team definitely."

 

Kohli would not be the first high-profile international player to take a break from cricket to prioritise their mental and physical health, given new England Test captain Ben Stokes did so last year.

However, Kohli insists he is still enjoying his game as he looks to secure a playoff spot in the IPL with Bangalore.

"Right now, there is nothing that you can point out saying there is a problem here," Kohli said.

"I know where my game stands and you cannot come this far in your international career without having the ability to counter the situations and counter conditions and counter different kinds of bowling.

"So this phase for me is the easier phase to process but I don't want to put this behind me. I want to learn from it and understand that what are the core values that I have as a sports person and as a human being.

"As long as I'm ticking those boxes, I know these are ups and downs and when I come out of this phase I know how consistent I can be. I know how motivated I will be once the scores start coming.

"My experiences are sacred to me – whatever I have experienced in this phase or in the past as well. 

"So I am experiencing now that I value myself and I care for my own well-being way more than I would have in the past. And actually, contrary to a lot of belief or a lot of perceptions as I mentioned on the outside, I'm actually in the happiest phase of my life."

Quinton de Kock's incredible 140 was only just enough as the Lucknow Super Giants edged to victory against the Kolkata Knight Riders on Wednesday, securing their place in the playoffs.

An astonishing contest came down to the last ball, and just as it looked as though KKR would reach the improbable target of 211, two wickets from the final two balls from Marcus Stoinis (3-23) sealed a dramatic two-run win for LSG.

De Kock and KL Rahul became only the fourth opening pair to bat first and go through an Indian Premier League innings without dismissal as they put on 210-0 from their 20 overs, the highest unbeaten opening partnership in IPL history.

The South African's score of 140 from 70 balls was the third-highest in IPL history, after Chris Gayle's 175 not out for Royal Challengers Bangalore against Pune Warriors India in 2013, and Brendon McCullum's 158 not out for KKR against RCB in 2008.

However, Rinku Singh's 40 from 14 balls looked to have put KKR on the verge of victory, needing just three from the final two deliveries, only for Rinku and then Umesh Yadav to both fall to Stoinis.

Rahul was steady in his 68 from 51 balls, but the fireworks came from De Kock, particularly near the end of the innings, hitting four sixes in the 19th over off the bowling of Tim Southee (0-57).

The Knight Riders' response could not have got off to a more contrasting start, with Venkatesh Iyer (0) and Abhijeet Tomar (4) both out early on to Mohsin Khan.

Nitish Rana's 44 from 22 balls showed some fight, before Shreyas Iyer (50 from 29) and Sam Billings (36 from 24) put their team in a position where victory actually looked possible, but the former spooned a Stoinis delivery into the air and into the waiting hands of Deepak Hooda just after reaching his half-century.

Rinku and Sunil Narine (21 not out) had one last go at reviving hope for KKR and very nearly managed it, only for Stoinis to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat with the last two deliveries to secure a vital win for the Super Giants, sealing their place in the playoffs, while KKR miss out.

De Kock wows the crowd

The fans could not believe what they were seeing as De Kock fired the ball to all sides of the ground with almost every shot imaginable.

The 29-year-old hit 20 boundaries in all (10 sixes and 10 fours) and, having only scored 362 runs from his previous 13 innings in the IPL this season, nudged himself over 500 and into third-place behind Jos Buttler (627) and Rahul (527) on the leaderboard for most runs.

So near yet so far for Rinku

When Rinku arrived at the crease his team still needed 69 runs from 26 balls. When he went back to the pavilion having hit a Stoinis delivery to Evin Lewis for a tremendous catch, his team were only three from victory.

It wasn't to be, but his two fours and four sixes from just 15 balls along with Narine's 21 from seven gave their team hope when there had previously been very little.

Ravi Shastri has urged the BCCI to give Umran Malik a central contract with India "straightaway" and says the paceman will be a "handful" in red-ball cricket.

Malik has taken the 2022 Indian Premier League by storm, claiming 21 wickets at an average of 20 for Sunrisers Hyderabad.

The 22-year-old clocked the fastest ball in this year's tournament with a delivery that registered 156.9 kilometres per hour on the speed gun against Delhi Capitals this month.

Malik rattled India captain Rohit Sharma on the helmet and took 3-23 to make another huge statement in Sunrisers' win over Mumbai Indians on Tuesday.

He became the youngest Indian to take 20 wickets in an IPL season with his latest exhibition of explosive pace bowling.

Former India head coach Shastri wants to see the rapid Malik in Rohit's pace attack on the international stage in the near future.

"Central contract straightaway," Shastri said on ESPNcricinfo's T20 Time Out.

"And keep him in the mix, don't let him float around. Keep him in the mix with the main players and then he learns seeing (and) being around with the [Mohammed] Shamis and the [Jasprit] Bumrahs, and see the way they train, see the way they manage their workload.

"Of course, there'll be the team management there, support staff, that'll help him do that, but don't let him stray at the moment. Get him into the mix, and keep him there and groom him."

Shastri says the quick will be even more potent when he learns to bowl with more control.

He said: "He'll get better and better. You see his bowling once he takes a wicket. Look at the lines he starts bowling as opposed to when he has not got a wicket – that's when he is trying everything, his lines are all over the place.

"You don't want him to cut down on pace. The last thing you would tell him looking for control, cut down on pace. What you want him to do is get his lines right: if he can bowl that stump line, attack the stumps on a constant basis, varying his lengths, he will trouble [batters].

"If he gets a wicket and new guy comes in, he can really rattle him because he has got the pace, he can keep the bloke on his toes, but it's that line - if he gets into that channel, without cutting his pace it will make a huge difference."

Shastri says Malik can provide a new dimension to the India Test attack.

"I promise you, this guy is going to be a handful in red-ball cricket. Handful, really. If he is part of an Indian pace battery that has Bumrah, Shami, you add this bloke in, a fourth guy, it's going to be a serious attack," he added.

Sunrisers Hyderabad kept their Indian Premier League play-off hopes alive with a dramatic three-run win over Mumbai Indians.

Rahul Tripathi's 76 helped Sunrisers post an imposing total of 193-6 at the Wankhede Stadium.

Despite an opening partnership of 95 between Mumbai captain Rohit Sharma (48) and Ishan Kishan (43), Sunrisers appeared to be coasting to victory when Rohit's side were reduced to 144-5 in the 17th over.

But the subsequent over brought chaos as Tim David clobbered Thangarasu Natarajan (0-60) for four sixes, including three in succession.

The final ball of the over, however, saw David run out for 46 as he chased an ill-advised single.

Mumbai could not recover the initiative from there, Bhuvneshwar Kumar's excellent wicket-maiden 19th over leaving them with too much to do in the final six balls.

With one game to play, Sunrisers are among three teams two points behind fourth-placed Delhi Capitals but will need help to reach the play-offs given their negative net run rate.

Game turns on 18th over chaos

David appeared set to end Sunrisers' hopes as he punished Natarajan for a series of dismal full tosses, his fourth six of the 18th over a 114-metre blast that marked the second-longest of the tournament.

But his decision to chase the strike for the start of the 19th with a single that never looked on effectively ensured victory for Hyderabad.

Sunrisers streak stopped

A win that was too close for comfort ended a run of five straight defeats for Sunrisers, though that streak will likely still keep them out of the play-offs.

South Africa have named a strong 16-man squad for their upcoming five-match T20I series against India, but former captain Faf du Plessis has been overlooked.

Paceman Anrich Nortje is back in the fold for the first time since last year's 2020 World Cup after proving his fitness in the Indian Premier League following a hip and back problem, while Tristan Stubbs has received a maiden call-up.

All of the South African players who opted out of the Test series against Bangladesh in March and April in favour of playing in the IPL have been called back up for the tour, which takes place next month.

That includes Kagiso Rabada, who has taken 22 wickets in the IPL this season - the third-best total in the competition.

However, in-form batter Du Plessis, who is the seventh-highest run scorer in the IPL with 399 at an average of 33.25, misses out again.

Du Plessis, who captains Royal Challengers Bangalore, has not played white-ball cricket for the Proteas since December 2020. He retired from the longest format last year.

Head coach Mark Boucher remains in place after Cricket South Africa "formally and unreservedly" withdrew the charges of gross misconduct against him.

South Africa's selection convener Victor Mpitsang said: "This is the Proteas like we have not seen them in a long time. The injection of the IPL players means that we will have a team that's ready to fire on all cylinders immediately and has vast experience of the conditions that we will be playing in.

"The country can also join us in a collective sigh of relief at the return of Anrich Nortje, who has been working hard to recover from a frustrating injury. The National Selection Panel and I are really excited to watch our full-strength Proteas take on the world's number one T20 team."

South Africa's squad in full: Temba Bavuma (captain), Quinton de Kock, Reeza Hendricks, Heinrich Klaasen, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Wayne Parnell, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Tristan Stubbs, Rassie van der Dussen, Marco Jansen.

Delhi Capitals sealed a big victory in the race for the playoffs against Punjab Kings in the Indian Premier League on Monday, thanks largely to the efforts of Mitchell Marsh and Shardul Thakur.

Marsh top-scored with 63 runs as the Capitals posted a target of 160, which the Kings never realistically looked like reaching, in part due to Shardul's outstanding four-wicket haul.

Things could not have started in worse fashion for the Capitals, with David Warner out first ball to Liam Livingstone (3-27).

However, Sarfaraz Khan (32) and Marsh steadied the ship with a partnership of 51, while Marsh and Lalit Yadav (24) added a further 47 to the total, with Arshdeep Singh (3-37) taking the wickets of both Khan and Yadav.

Livingstone then struck twice to remove Rishabh Pant (7) and Rovman Powell (2), before Kagiso Rabada finally claimed Marsh for 63 off 48 balls with 10 deliveries remaining.

Jonny Bairstow (28) and Shikhar Dhawan (19) made a good start to the reply with a partnership of 38 inside four overs before the England man fell to Anrich Nortje.

There soon followed a collapse for the Kings, who quickly went from 53-1 to 67-6 with only Jitesh Sharma showing any sign of sticking around.

He and Rahul Chahar (25) calmed things down to claim 41 from five overs before Jitesh fell for 44 from 34 balls, and although the Kings avoided losing all 10 wickets, Shardul (4-36) completed a strong bowling spell to comfortably close the game out for a 17-run victory, moving the Capitals to fourth in the table.

Shardul leads joint-bowling effort

While Shardul will get the headlines with his four wickets, there was some tremendous economic bowling on display elsewhere in the Capitals' attack.

Axar Patel and Kuldeep Yadav both posted figures of 2-14, with the former doing so from four overs at a rate of just 3.50, conceding just one boundary.

Kings suffer with the bat

Bairstow, Dhawan, Jitesh, and Chahar aside, the Kings really let themselves down with the bat.

Only one of the top five batsmen in the order hit a six (Bairstow), while no other batsman aside from the aforementioned quartet scored more than six overall.

Rajasthan Royals moved up to second in the Indian Premier League and are on the brink of sealing a play-off place after a 24-run defeat of Lucknow Super Giants.

Lucknow knew a win at the Brabourne Stadium on Sunday would secure a top-four finish with one game to spare, but they slipped below the Royals into third spot.

Yashasvi Jaiswal top-scored with 41 in Rajasthan's total of 178-6 in Mumbai, with Ravi Bishnoi taking 2-31.

Deepak Hooda's 59 was in vain as Lucknow could only make 154-8 in reply, Trent Boult the pick of the bowlers with 2-18 as the Royals took a big stride towards the play-offs.

Avesh Khan struck a big early blow when he bowled Rajasthan's Jos Buttler in the third over, but Jaiswal and Sanju Samson (32) put on 64 for the second wicket before the captain fell to Jason Holder.

Jaiswal was caught and bowled in Ayush Badoni's only over, but Devdut Padikkal kept Rajasthan ticking with a couple of sixes and five fours.

Bishnoi (2-31) denied Padikkal the chance of a half-century, dismissing him for 39, and also removed Riyan Parag, but Boult added a quickfire unbeaten 17 after Jimmy Neesham was run out.

Neesham, playing his second match of the tournament, took a catch for his New Zealand team-mate Boult to claim the scalp of Quinton de Kock in the third over of the run chase and the left-arm seamer also trapped Badoni leg before first ball.

Lucknow were 29-3 when Prasidh Krishna (2-32) sent KL Rahul packing, but a stand of 65 between Hooda and Krunal Pandya kept them in the game.

Ravichandran Ashwin ended the partnership by sending Pandya on his way for 25, and Hooda was stumped off the bowling of Yuzvendra Chahal, while Obed McCoy claimed 2-35 in a big win for the Royals.

Brilliant Boult strikes twice

Boult made it advantage the Royals when he took two early wickets in as many balls, preventing De Kock from doing damage and snaring Badoni for a golden duck.

He bowled 14 dot balls in his four overs and conceded only two boundaries, leaving the Super Giants up against it.

Three play-off spots still up for grabs

Gujarat Titans are the only side guaranteed a play-off place as the battle for top-four finishes goes to the wire.

The Royals do battle with Chennai Super Kings in their last game of the league season, while Lucknow must regroup before facing Kolkata Knight Riders.

Gujarat Titans consolidated their place at the top of the Indian Premier League with a seven-wicket victory over Chennai Super Kings.

It has been a miserable season for 2021 champions Chennai, who sit in ninth place with only one game remaining.

While the Super Kings let themselves down with the bat last time out against Mumbai Indians, Ruturaj Gaikwad's 53 and Narayan Jagadeesan's 39 not out this time helped them to 133-5 from their 20 overs.

But the run rate was not quick enough, with Gaikwad's score coming from 49 balls while it took 33 for Jagadeesan to reach his total as the Titans bowlers, spearheaded by Mohammed Shami (2-19), stifled the defending champions.

Gujarat's chase started well, and it took until the start of the eighth over for Chennai to strike, with Matheesha Pathirana dismissing Shubman Gill for 18.

Moeen Ali sent Matthew Wade (20) packing four overs later, but much of the damage had been done, with the Titans having already chipped away 90.

Wriddhiman Saha anchored the innings with a wonderful 67 not out, and his ninth boundary sealed an ultimately comfortable victory with five balls to spare.

Saha shows the Super Kings how it is done

Though Gaikwad scored a half-century, the Chennai opener was only able to hit five boundaries. Saha kept up the pace in reply, hitting eight fours and one six, with his unbeaten 67 coming at a strike rate of 117.54.

Woeful title defence coming to a sorry close

It is now two defeats in a row for the Super Kings, who face Rajasthan Royals in their final match. Gujarat, meanwhile, could have a say in who comes with them into the play-offs, when they face Royal Challengers Bangalore on Friday.

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