The 2022 IPL season is now wrapped up and the final week threw up some stirring results within the playoffs.
Matthew Wade and the Gujarat Titans claimed an incredible title in their inaugural season in the competition. In an almost perfect season, the champions only lost four times before sweeping the competition in the playoffs.
Here is what happened in the 2022 IPL playoffs:
Qualifier 1 – Gujarat Titans v Rajasthan Royals
The first match of the playoffs would see the winner progress directly through to the final. The top two teams of the regular season faced it off in a thriller.
Wade lined up for the Titans after securing his position back in the squad throughout the middle of the season. The Royals began with the bat, but Wade was not to start behind the stumps as he previously had recently.
Jos Buttler again made an early impression for the Royals. The opener went on to create a massive opportunity for the Royals, posting a score of 89 (56). His knock included 14 boundaries as he looked almost certain for another century. Captain Sanju Samson assisted the scoring, making a big 47 (26).
The Royals completed their 20 overs with a total of 6/188. Wade played no highlight in the field, yet he would have his chance with the bat.
After the early wicket of Wriddhiman Saha, Shubman Gill and Wade began to pile the runs on. The pair scored 35 runs each, adding 12 boundaries between them.
Sitting 3/85 following the wicket of Wade, the certainty of the Titan’s progression wasn’t all there. Albeit Hardik Pandya and David Miller turned on the heat to drag their side into the final.
Pandya and Miller controlled the final 10 overs of the match, with Miller top-scoring with a knock of 68 (38). 3 fours and 5 big sixes got the Titans across the line by seven wickets and three balls to spare.
A relaxed environment and some weights in the gym… That’s the Miller Mantra for success ?— Gujarat Titans (@gujarat_titans) May 25, 2022
But who better than the man himself and Wade bhai talking about our entry into the final ? #SeasonOfFirsts #AavaDe #GTvRR #TATAIPL pic.twitter.com/N5jevZqMNQ
The Royals would then face the winner of the Eliminator between the Lucknow Super Giants and Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Eliminator – Lucknow Super Giants v Royal Challengers Bangalore
The third-placed Super Giants had the upper hand on the Challengers who scraped through to the playoffs. Yet, all the talking was left on the pitch and the result wasn’t as set in stone as it would have been perceived.
The Challengers kicked things off with the bat and they didn’t hesitate to begin firing. Despite Faf du Plessis going out for a golden duck, the Challengers remained in quite a decent shape.
But it was Rajat Patidar who put his foot down. After coming in at first drop, he went on to score a monster 112* (54). His innings included 19 boundaries – seven of those were maximums.
Glenn Maxwell played a minor cameo role, making 9 (10), including hitting one over the rope. The Challengers set the tone with a tally of 4/207 (20.0).
The Super Giants needed a monster all-round innings in order to complete the chase and progress. It looked like it could be on the cards, with captain KL Rahul top-scoring with 79 (58).
Deepak Hooda also made an impression with 45 from 26 balls, but it wasn’t enough. Marcus Stoinis, similarly to Maxwell, made 9 (9), unable to get up and going.
Josh Hazlewood was at his best for the Challengers, picking up three big wickets, including the wicket of Rahul, setting up a big upset in the playoff picture.
Hazlewood finished with 3/43 from his four overs, as the Challengers had enough leeway at the limbs of their innings, winning by 14 runs.
The team needed wickets, Josh delivered. ??— Royal Challengers Bangalore (@RCBTweets) May 26, 2022
3️⃣ crucial wickets of Manan Vohra, KL Rahul & Krunal Pandya to take his tally up to 1️⃣8️⃣ wickets in #IPL2022. ???#PlayBold #WeAreChallengers #IPL2022 #Mission2022 #RCB #ನಮ್ಮRCB #PlayOffs pic.twitter.com/tDFgMpTaFo
Maxwell, Hazlewood, and the Challengers would then face the Royals to battle it out against the Titans for the title.
Qualifier 2 – Rajasthan Royals v Royal Challengers Bangalore
The winner of the second qualifier would progress to the final, the Royals were well-rested as the Challengers played their second game in two days.
The Challengers opened the batting once again and another big innings was needed in order to shut down the Royals.
Patidar was at his best once again, top-scoring for the Challengers with 58 from 42 deliveries. Maxwell’s performance improved, as he managed 24 runs, but only from 13 balls.
Once the opening four batsmen were back in the dugout, the Challengers began to crumble. Only Shahbaz Ahmed made double figures from here on out.
Hazlewood made an appearance at the crease in the final over, scraping one run from two deliveries. The Challengers completed their 20 over-innings with a total of 8/157.
Despite picking up two wickets, Hazlewood was unable to stop the Royals from chasing their total. Maxwell also bowled but was unable to find a breakthrough.
It was Buttler once again for the Royals, who scored another century – 106 (60), an innings including 10 fours and 6 sixes.
The Royals comfortably rolled into the final, chasing the Challengers’ total in just 18.1 overs, setting up an enthralling final between the top two teams.
Final – Gujarat Titans v Rajasthan Royals
The top two teams from the 2022 IPL season faced off in the final and it delivered fireworks. The Royals walked into the final, taking the hard route, whilst the Titans awaited their opponent from the first qualifier.
The Royals batted in the first innings, and they were halted from the get-go. Despite picking up quick runs, the Royals were dismantled one by one.
Buttler was stopped early into his innings from his standards, only managing 39 runs from 35 balls in a sluggish performance.
Despite his score, only one other batsman scored over 20 – Yashasvi Jaiswal – who made 22 (16).
The tail came in to play for the Royals as they posted a score of 9/130 (20.0). This gave the Titans plenty of power in the second innings, only needing 6.55 runs per over for the title.
Wade came in again at first drop, this time he only made 8 (10), hitting one over the rope.
But it was Gill, who powered to 45* (43), inspiring the Titans into a great position to finish the job. He and Miller were at the crease when Gill hit the winning runs in style with a six.
The Titans claimed their first IPL title in just their first season in the competition, winning by seven wickets. Pandya was crowned the man-of-the-match, claiming three wickets and scoring 34 (30).
Australia’s Wade won his first IPL title of his career with the Titans, after coming in and out of the squad he cemented his spot and became a part of the winning formula.
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