Think of a dream, and RCB’s journey of IPL 17 can be described just like that. On a win streak of 6 games, RCB stands full of momentum in the eliminator of the current edition of the IPL. Summarising the gameplay of the team, the team saw both the worst and the best out of them in the same season. Winning just 1 game out of their first 8, RCB was rooted to the bottom of the table and the chances to qualify for the playoffs seem pretty meek. On the brink of elimination, RCB’s comeback will be the story of the current season of the IPL. With 1% chance of qualifying to the final four, Faf Du Plesis led Challengers had a big big task on hand to win the remainder of their matches (against SRH, GT, GT, PBKS, DC, and CSK) and even then have to depend on other matches which had to go their way to make room for them in the playoffs. The success tale of RCB lately in the tournament is no less heroic and valiant.


With every match a virtual knockout for them, RCB came head to head with the batting monsters this season, Sunrisers from Hyderabad. With the help of a crucial knock from Virat Kohli and a firepowered cameo from skipper Faf, and lower order marvels by Rajat and Green, RCB managed to put up a fighting total of 206. With the feared batting duo of Abhishek Sharma and Travis Head, out came SRH to chase it down but the latter fell to Will Jacks and then contributions from the spin duo of Karn Sharma and Swapnil Singh, the men in red managed to halt the batting monsters at 171 and won the match by 35 runs.


Against the Gujarat Titans in Ahmedabad, a sub-par bowling by the Challengers meant Sai Sudarshan and Shahrukh Khan flew the Titans to a total of 200. But they knew the least that the Will Jacks is getting geared up for the chase in his style. Came out to bat, the RCB openers started aggresively and while doing so, captain Faf fell to Sai Kishore. The RCB batting saw no oher hiccups when Jacks came down on the bowlers from GT, all guns blazing. With the help of a fantabulous century (100 off 41 balls), the Englishmen clinched the match for the Royals and it boosted the NRR of the team massively as they won it by 9 wickets in hand.


Another match against the same opponent, but at the homeground, RCB bowlers put up a fantastic show by bowling out the Titans on a total of 147. The target looked easy to achieve and the RCB openers saw an opportunity to push their NRR into even better numbers. Grabbing the opportunity, Virat and Faf amassed 92 runs just in the powerplays. In quest of an early win, RCB saw hiccups in the chase as batters fell in pursue of big shots.But with majority of the work done in the powerplay itself, the finisher Dinesh Karthik took his team home with another finish.


An away match against PBKS saw Virat Kohli batting in his full rage. With excellent stats against Punjab, Virat added 92 runs at a glittering strike rate of 195. With the help of more useful contributions from the middle order menaces, Rajat, Green and Karthik, RCB posted a mammoth total of 241 runs. Looking at another opportunity of boosting the NRR, Du Plesis’s bowlers took the task well and bowled out the Kings at 181, winning the match by massive 60 runs.


Against the Delhi Capitals, while batting first, RCB’s skipper Faf fell early but that brought in the Englishmen Jacks in the middle. Batting with a strike rate of 141, he ammased 41 crucial runs and Rajat Patidar also brought up another half-century batting at a strike rate of 162. With the combined efforts from the batters, RCB posted 187 runs at the end of their innings. The bowling attack of the Challengers which was a topic of their criticism in the first half of the tournament shined once again when they bowled out the Capitals on 140 and won the match by 47 runs.


The last league match against the CSKs, their arch rival was the decider for the RCB with its winner booking the final spot for the playoffs. RCB’s setback was Will Jacks return back to England for national duties and that made the match more spicy. With prediction of rainfall over the Chinnaswamy on the D-day, the RCB fans prayed with all their might for the match to take place as a washout would carry CSK into the playoffs. With luck and raingod in favour of the team and its fan, RCB while batting first posted a massive total of 218 runs with the help of clinical half century by the skipper; deciding knocks by Kohli, Patidar, and Green; and useful cameos by Karthik and Maxwell. All RCB needed was to stop CSK before 200 to win the match with 18+ runs to boost their run rate to surpass that of CSK’s. RCB bowlers held their nerve and bowled accurately and the figure came down to 17 needed off the final over with the ultimate finisher Dhoni on strike and Yash Dayal with the ball. The first ball was hit out of the park for a gigantic 110m long six. But a next ball Dhoni wicket meant that there was still spice left in the match. Another two crucial dots made sure that RCB becomes the fourth team to qualify for the playoffs eliminating CSK. Yash Dayal who was hit down for 5 consecutive sixes by Rinku Singh last year, became the hero for RCB in a last-over drama thriller against CSK.


RCB’s story is no less than a cinema. The fall of the team, the consecutive losses, the destroyed hopes of the fans, and the chances of “Ee sala cup namde” fainting into thin air, the RCB arsenal came together out of nowhere and the bowling lineup that once looked least effective shined right when the team needed it the most. The batting order that looked heavily dependent entirely on Virat Kohli and Dinesh Karthik started performing collectively as a unit. And now into the playoffs, the RCB’s momentum is full up to the brink and they look forward to win their first maiden cup. Backed by such a spearhead bowling unit, and the Orange cap holder Virat Kohli on their side; a soaring winning momentum; and massive fan support, a team which was once almost on the verge of becoming the first team to be eliminated, now look strong enough as favourites of winning the cup. They need to win three more matches if they are suppose to do that and if that happens, all those years of heartbreaks, tears, and disppointments will vanish into the celebratory atmosphere.