“Harshal Patel was most impressive, hats off to him” – Sanjay Manjrekar picks pacer as RCB’s standout performer with ball in IPL 2022 Eliminator 

Former India batter Sanjay Manjrekar opined that although Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) pacer Josh Hazlewood claimed three wickets in the IPL 2022 Eliminator, it was Harshal Patel’s spell that made a big difference.

Bangalore defeated the Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) by 14 runs in the IPL 2022 Eliminator at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Wednesday. After Rajat Patidar’s ton (112* off 54) lifted them to 207 for four batting first, Hazlewood (3/43) and Harshal (1/25) starred with the ball to restrict LSG to 193 for six.

Reflecting on Bangalore’s bowling performance in the knockout clash, Manjrekar told ESPNcricinfo:

“Josh Hazlewood picked up important wickets. When a bowler takes wickets, he has definitely made a contribution. But for me, Harshal Patel was most impressive. The one big obstacle for LSG in the chase was Harshal Patel. He comes to bowl in the second half, so although Lucknow were in the chase, Harshal’s four overs were left. In such a key match to have such an economy rate (6.20), despite bowling the tough overs, hats off to him.”

Hazlewood dismissed Manan Vohra (19) in his first spell and returned to send back KL Rahul (79) and Krunal Pandya (0) off consecutive deliveries. After conceding only eight runs in his first two overs, Harshal returned to bowl the 18th and the 20th overs, giving away only eight and nine runs, respectively. He also got the big scalp of Marcus Stoinis (9).

“Lot of credit to Wanindu Hasaranga for the big turning point” – Sanjay Manjrekar impressed with RCB leggie

Manjrekar also praised RCB leg-spinner Wanindu Hasaranga for showing mettle under pressure and delivering the goods after being smacked for two sixes by Deepak Hooda. He termed the scalp of the LSG big-hitter as the turning point in the chase. The 56-year-old stated:

“KL Rahul-Deepak Hooda partnership was very impressive. The way they were playing, they seemed in control. Lot of credit to Wanindu Hasaranga for the big turning point. He was hit for two sixes by Hooda but bowled on the same length and flighted one to clean up Hooda. As long as Hooda was there, Rahul batting in third gear was okay. Once Hooda got out, things became very difficult.”

LSG skipper Rahul and Hooda featured in a 96-run stand for the third wicket. In the 15th over of the innings, Hooda hammered Hasaranga for two huge sixes. However, the RCB leggie had his revenge as he slowed one down and bowled the LSG batter as he attempted another big hit. Once Hooda was dismissed, Lucknow’s innings lost momentum.

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