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Following his side’s four-wicket win over Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB) in the eliminator, Rajasthan Royals (RR) spinner Ravichandran Ashwin said that he felt his body was not moving right in the first half of the season and he needed some time to get back to his bowling rhythm. Rajasthan Royals ended their four-match winless run in the Indian Premier League and bounced back just at the right moment to seal their place in the Qualifier 2 following a 4-wicket win against Royal Challengers Bengaluru in Eliminator on Wednesday.

Following the game, speaking at the post-match presentation, Ashwin said the team was not doing well in the past few games and had lost their opener Jos Buttler who went back home for England’s series with Pakistan, but this win will give them confidence ahead of the qualifier two clash.

“In the first half, I felt my body was not moving too well for the first half of the season. I had an abdomen injury as well. I am ageing as well. To come into the tournament from Test cricket was difficult, I needed some time to get that bowling rhythm. But once you have committed to your franchise, you want to go through with the season,” said the 37-year-old.

Ashwin said that the team hit the right lengths while bowling and Trent Boult got some swing and seam movement. He also said that there was not much dew in the second innings.

“I think there were some exceptional shots from our boys to get that chase. I think our greatest strength is the exuberance of youth and the experience we have to support that. Now that Hettie (Shimron Hetmyer) is back in, and Rovman got a few boundaries today as well. We’ve got Keshav sitting outside. We have the right momentum for this team going forward,” he concluded.

Coming to the match, RR won the toss and elected to bowl first. Almost every RCB batter got a start, but they could not convert them into a big knock. Rajat Patidar (34 in 22 balls, with two fours and two sixes), Virat Kohli (33 in 24 balls, with three fours and a six) and Mahipal Lomror (32 in 17 balls, with two fours and two sixes) emerged as top-scorers, restricting RCB to 172/8 in their 20 overs.

Avesh Khan (3/44) was the top bowler for RR. Ravichandran Ashwin (2/19) and Trent Boult (1/16) also did a fine job in putting brakes on the RCB run rate.

In the run-chase, the Royals’ got off to a fine start, with Yashasvi Jaiswal (45 in 30 balls, with eight fours) and Tom Kohler Cadmore (20 in 15 balls, with four boundaries) putting on a 46-run stand. From then on, RCB bowlers applied some pressure on Rajasthan, restricting the run-flow and getting some wickets. RR was restricted to 112/4 in 13.1 overs. However, Riyan Parag (36 in 26 balls, with two fours and two sixes) held one end before he was dismissed while Shimron Hetmyer (26 in 14 balls, with three fours and a six) and Rovman Powell (16* in eight balls, with two fours and a six) attacked RCB in the last few overs to get a four-wicket win with an over left.

Mohammed Siraj (2/33) was the top bowler for RCB.

Ashwin took home the ‘Player of the Match’ award.

Now, RR will meet Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in qualifier two on May 24 in Chennai to decide who plays Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the final on May 26.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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