Going into the final day of the league stages, one of the team's that was not playing, Rajasthan Royals were glued to their TV screens as their fate in the on-going season of the IPL depended on results of matches around them. They needed Mumbai Indians to lose to Delhi Daredevils and the Chennai Super Kings to beat the Kings XI Punjab to make it to the final four.
The Ajinkya Rahane-led Royals began the day in fourth spot above the Mumbai Indians with 7 wins out of their 14 matches which gave them a total of 14 points in the league stages.
Once Mumbai Indians were defeated by the already eliminated Delhi Daredevils by 11 runs at the Feroz Shah Kotla it meant that the Royals were halfway through to the final four and only needed the result of the second match to go in their favour. Mumbai's defeat meant they were eliminated from the tournament.
In the second match of the day, Chennai Super Kings, who's form had taken a dip brought their best game to the fore as they beat the Kings XI Punjab by 5 wickets at Pune.
These two results meant, the Royals, like the Chennai Super Kings were going to play the knockout stages of the 2018 IPL - their first season since returning from a two year suspension due to a match fixing scandal.
And it’s official!! Qualify for playoffs!! ✔️ Celebratory mode is 🔛!! #Hallabol #Cricket #IPL2018 pic.twitter.com/NWMhNykGfB— Rajasthan Royals (@rajasthanroyals) May 20, 2018
And it’s official!! Qualify for playoffs!! ✔️ Celebratory mode is 🔛!! #Hallabol #Cricket #IPL2018 pic.twitter.com/NWMhNykGfB
A video put out by the Rajasthan Royals on their Twitter handle showed how the whole team were waiting with baited breath and once the news was in that they had made it through, every one in the camp was visibly overjoyed and were in celebratory mood.
The Rajasthan Royals who are mentored by the legendary Australian spinner Shane Warne will now take on the Kolkata Knight Riders in their Eliminator at the Eden Gardens on May 23rd, but will be weakened as the likes of Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes have departed for international duty. Rajasthan led by Shane Warne were co-incidentally the inaugural champions of the IPL in 2007.