A sensational century from Rajat Patidar powered Royal Challengers Bangalore to a 14-run victory over Lucknow Super Giants in the Indian Premier League eliminator
Patidar smashed 12 fours and seven sixes on Wednesday in his knock of 112, off 54 balls, to help Bangalore post a commanding total of 207.
He only joined Bangalore as a replacement midway into the IPL after missing out in the original draft.
Bangalore will play Rajasthan Royals in the second qualifier on Friday in Ahmedabad, with the winners taking on Gujarat Titans in Sunday's final at the same venue.
Josh Hazlewood ended any lingering hopes of a Lucknow fightback when he had their captain, KL Rahul, caught at short fine leg for 79 in the penultimate over.
Bangalore, who lost the toss and were put into bat, had the worst possible start when they lost skipper Faf Du Plessis - their top run-scorer this season - for a first-ball duck when he was caught behind off Mohsin Khan.
Virat Kohli (25) and Glenn Maxwell (9) struggled for fluency but Patidar, playing in only his 11th IPL game, kept the runs flowing as he dealt in boundaries at a healthy strike rate.
Patidar was dropped twice and the 28-year-old took advantage, bringing up his century in 49 balls with a massive six over midwicket which brought the crowd and his teammates in the dugout to their feet.
He remained unbeaten while Dinesh Karthik (37 not out) also provided fireworks in a 92-run partnership as Bangalore scored 84 runs in the last five overs.
Lucknow lost Quinton de Kock in the first over but Rahul steadied the ship and Deepak Hooda chipped in with a handy 45.
But with the required run rate creeping up, Hooda was bowled by Wanindu Hasaranga after smashing two sixes off the Sri Lankan.
Hazlewood had Rahul caught and then caught Krunal Pandya off his own bowling with the next delivery.
The Australian fast bowler finished with 3-43 as Lucknow fell short.
Australian Associated Press
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