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  5. IPL 2024: RCB's special journey ends up winning hearts, yet again!!!

IPL 2024: RCB's special journey ends up winning hearts, yet again!!!

So near, yet so far. Once again, RCB ended their journey in the eliminator in IPL 2024. After so much hype around the way they came back in the second half to make it to the playoffs, they bowed out, with a loss in the knockout clash. They could win 'hearts' but not trophy, yet again.

Written By: Aditya Kukalyekar @adikukalyekar New Delhi Published on: May 24, 2024 14:51 IST
IPL 2024
Image Source : INDIA TV RCB defied all odds to make IPL 2024 playoffs but couldn't win the trophy again

As soon as Rovman Powell smashed Lockie Ferguson for a six down the ground, the 'DREAM' ended. Yes. 'Ee sala cup namde' didn't happen for one more year and Royal Challengers Bengaluru, just like that, bowed out of Indian Premier League, once again, winning hearts. Such was their journey throughout the season that even the once who aren't their fans were overjoyed with them qualifying for the playoffs but the joy was transient.

Despite qualifying for the playoffs for the ninth time in 17 IPL seasons, RCB couldn't end their trophy drought. In fact, such has been their consistency that they have qualified for the playoffs four times in last five seasons (including IPL 2024) and have not been able to win the trophy. Not once they have made it to the final as well in these years and lost in the eliminator three times while bowing out once in the second qualifier.

Coming to their journey in IPL 2024. The team literally looked hopeless in the first half winning only one out of their first eight matches. There was literally no hope with no bowler stepping up while batting, apart from Virat Kohli, wasn't clicking at all. There were confined to the last position and literally no one gave them hope of even finishing above 10th position, forget making playoffs.

When nothing was at stake, RCB became fearless

After beating Punjab Kings in their second game, RCB lost six consecutive matches and this is when all the hopes of the fans drowned. But their resurgence had begun well before. Last two of six consecutive losses were by 25 runs and one run against Sunrisers Hyderabad and Kolkata Knight Riders respectively. But in those matches, RCB went down fighting despite being in helpless positions at one stage. SRH had plundered 287 runs against them but in the chase, thanks to Dinesh Karthik's 83 off 35, they reached 262 runs losing by just 25 runs.

In the next game, KKR smashed them for 222 runs and RCB were just one run within the victory before going down. In fact, RCB botched a winning position as at one stage, they needed just 85 runs in nine overs and had nine wickets in hand. A loss in this encounter, at the time, had ended RCB's hopes of making it to the playoffs.

With not much at stake, RCB started playing fearless and that started their dream run. Fortune also favoured them with few results going their way and the scenario finally came down to CSK vs RCB in the last league match. RCB still had nothing to lose and on the back of support from home crowd, they overcame the five-time champions in a thriller and made it to the playoffs.

What went wrong for RCB in the Eliminator then?

This is where things started to go wrong for them. Yes, nobody expected them to make the playoffs, and they deserved all the plaudits they received for making a resounding comeback. But more maturity should've been shown by experienced players and not let the team celebrate in a way that they did at the end of the match. This would've sent a sterning message to all other sides in the playoffs that RCB aren't done yet and that they are aiming for the big elusive trophy.

Having qualified for the playoffs, suddenly, everything was at stake for RCB and the fans had started dreaming yet again. Pressure started to mount and this time, the match wasn't in Bengaluru and the opposition was Rajasthan Royals who at one stage had won eight out of nine matches in the season.

Come the eliminator clash, RCB were back to dropping catches and posting under-par scores. With all due respect to them, RCB didn't bat well enough and in hindsight, if they had not dropped Yashasvi Jaiswal and Tom Kohler-Cadmore early in the innings and the way, even Royals stuttered later in the chase, Faf du Plessis and his men might have pulled off yet another win to stay alive.

Alas!! All the dreams were shattered, yet again and the chatter remained limited to RCB 'WINNING HEARTS', not for the first time in IPL history.

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