For Royal Challengers Bangalore fans, hope springs eternal. Fifteen Indian Premier League (IPL) seasons have come and gone, but they believe that the barren run will come to an end next year, with the slogan “ee sala cup namde” (This time the cup is ours).
On Friday too, expectations were high when RCB entered the Qualifier 2 at Ahmedabad, but Rajasthan Royals shut the side out of the tournament with a comprehensive seven-wicket victory. With this, RCB’s long wait for a maiden IPL trophy continues.
“Some things never change, like the love and support we have for you. It was a memorable season, lots of ups and downs but we stuck together. Thanks for all the entertainment. Hope we can carry the good spirit next year and some players can find their lost form. We love you,” Agni, a fan, tweeted.
However, after the loss to Rajasthan, social media was abuzz with memes and jokes at the expense of RCB.
The team, which has finished as runner-up on three occasions (2009, 2011, and 2016), once again fell flat on the big occasion on Friday. Captain Faf du Plessis and his men had tremendous support from the big crowd at the Narendra Modi Stadium, but as Rajasthan marched to an easy win, disappointed fans started to exit the stadium. The scene was sombre outside the venue as well, with those in the red and black RCB jerseys wearing long faces.
The defeat stung more given that it was a Bengaluru lad who was instrumental to RCB’s downfall. Rajasthan fast bowler Prasidh Krishna, an alumnus of Jain University and Carmel School, broke RCB’s back with three wickets. Only a few years ago, Prasidh started his IPL journey as a net bowler for RCB.
RCB’s entry to the playoff rounds itself was fortuitous. It was Delhi Capitals which was favourite to grab the last available playoff spot, until an inexplicable meltdown against Mumbai Indians in their final group stage match allowed RCB to make the cut.
RCB bid a sheepish goodbye. “Goodbyes are hard! Especially after a tough loss when the team truly believed they’re good enough to go the distance…,” they tweeted.