Buttler finished 106 not out from just 60 balls as the Royals successfully chased 158. Seamers Prasidh Krishna and Obed McCoy took three wickets each to restrict RCB to a below-par total. Royals will take on IPL newcomers Gujarat Titans in the final on Sunday.
Buttler’s sublime innings were set up by the Royals’ bowling attack, as Krishna recovered from an onslaught by David Miller in the first qualifier to finish with 3-22, including the prized wicket of India star Virat Kohli.
Kohli, who stepped down as RCB captain last year to be replaced by Faf du Plessis, must wait another year for an attempt at his maiden IPL title with the franchise he has represented since the inaugural tournament in 2008.
Once again the big three of Kohli, du Plessis, and Glenn Maxwell failed to register a significant score for RCB. Rajat Patidar followed his century in the eliminator with 58 from 42 balls, but he was the only batter to pass a half-century in their innings.
It was a poignant occasion for the Royals and their fans as they have a chance to win their second IPL title – their previous triumph coming in 2008 when they were captained and coached by the late Shane Warne.
Jos Buttler smashed a record-equalling fourth century of the tournament as Rajasthan Royals hammered Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore by seven wickets on Friday to set up an IPL final against Gujarat Titans. Chasing 158 for victory at the world’s biggest cricket stadium in Ahmedabad, Rajasthan reached their target with 11 balls to spare in the second qualifier as Buttler equaled Kohli’s record of four tons in an IPL season. His 106 not out came from 60 balls and included 10 fours and six sixes.
Fast bowlers Prasidh Krishna and Obed McCoy took three wickets each to restrict Bangalore to 157-8 and set up victory for Rajasthan, who won the inaugural edition in 2008 under the captaincy of late Australian great Shane Warne. The final will be played on Sunday at the same venue after Gujarat, in their debut season, beat Rajasthan in the first qualifier early this week.
Buttler got the Royals off to a flier with a 61-run opening stand in 31 balls with the left-handed Yashasvi Jaiswal who fell to Australian seamer Josh Hazlewood at the start of the sixth over. The in-form Englishman, who leads the tournament’s batting charts with 824 runs, reached his fifty in just 23 balls.
Wanindu Hasaranga gave RCB some cheer when the leg-spinner dismissed skipper Sanju Samson, stumped for 23. Buttler reached his hundred and punched the air in delight and then hit the winning six to extend Bangalore’s wait for a first IPL title.
Put in to bat first, Bangalore lost Kohli for seven after their former captain hit New Zealand left-arm quick Trent Boult for a six in the opening over but soon fell to Krishna in the next.
Kohli, who hit a match-winning 73 in his team’s last league match after a largely difficult season featuring three golden ducks, saw a pitch invader touch his gloves after the first ball of the match.
Skipper Faf du Plessis put on a 70-run stand with Rajat Patidar as the pair attempted to take the attack to the opposition bowlers. Patidar, who made an unbeaten 112 in Wednesday’s eliminator against Lucknow Super Giants, fought a lone battle after being dropped on 13.
Du Plessis did not have any such luck and was caught at short third man off McCoy, who returned figures of 3-23. He made 25. Patidar reached his fifty with a six-off leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal but soon fell to Ravichandran Ashwin as Buttler took a well-judged catch at long-off.Wickets kept tumbling as Krishna took two from successive deliveries in the 19th over to return figures of 3-22 from his four.