Watch: Kohli's Brilliant Gesture As Retiring Karthik Gets Guard Of Honour

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NDTV Sports-Cricket

Royal Challengers Benglauru's star finisher Dinesh Karthik might well have had his last dance on a cricket field in the Indian Premier League (IPL). After flying high with six consecutive wins, the RCB, in chasing the sun, came away with their wings charred and melted. Their hopes of a fairytale season turned into despair after the Bengaluru franchise crashed out of the tournament in the second eliminator on Wednesday.

In what was billed as a clash of 'Royals', Rajasthan prevailed, inflicting a four-wicket defeat on Bengaluru in the Eliminator at the Narendra Modi Stadium.

With the chants of "ee sala cup namde" falling silent and failing to go all the way to Chennai, which is set to play host to the title clash, emotions were in free flow amid the cricketing action at the world's biggest stadium.

Karthik took off his gloves and acknowledged the fans who were on their feet to applaud the veteran for his contributions throughout the season.

Soon a moment to savour for the RCB fans unfolded, as the franchise's marquee star and modern-day cricketing icon Virat Kohli embraced Karthik as he struggled to fight back his emotions.

While Karthik hasn't yet officially announced his retirement from the IPL, he did drop broad hints throughout the tournament that the ongoing season would be his last for his franchise.

As he walked back towards the dressing room, Karthik received a guard of honour from the RCB players.

He was a crucial figure for RCB, especially in the death overs in a turbulent season. His influential cameos at the end played a role in inspiring the team to an unprecedented spot in the playoffs.

If this season ends up as the last one for Karthik, he will finish his IPL career with 4,842 runs in 257 matches, studded with a whopping 22 fifties.

In his illustrious IPL career that spanned over 17 years, Karthik featured for six franchises in the cash-rich league.

He made his debut in the inaugural season in 2008 with the Delhi Daredevils (now Delhi Capitals). He made a switch to Punjab in 2011 and, thereafter, went on to play for the Mumbai Indians, Gujarat Lions, Kolkata Knight Riders and the RCB.

He ended the ongoing season with 326 runs in 15 matches at an average of 36.22 and a mouth-watering strike rate of 187.36.

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