Thu, 25 Apr 2019

Buttler fifty sets up sloppy Royals win

ESPN
14 Apr 2019, 00:52 GMT+10

Rajasthan Royals 188 for 6 (Buttler 89, Krunal Pandya 3-34) beat Mumbai Indians 187 for 5 (de Kock 81, Archer 3-39) by four wickets

Just two matches after recording the best figures in IPL history, Alzarri Joseph found himself on the receiving end of a brutal assault from Jos Buttler, whose 89 off 43 balls spearheaded a successful chase in a four-wicket win for Rajasthan Royals over Mumbai Indians. The result ended Mumbai's three-match winning streak while Royals notched just their second win of the season.

Set a target of 188 on a batting road, Royals coasted to 100 for 1 in 10 overs as Buttler brought up a 30-ball half-century at the halfway point of the innings. The Englishman had already starred in the field taking three sharp catches on the boundary having given up the gloves to Sanju Samson for the first time this season and seemingly had far more energy as a result.

Having brought up his third fifty of IPL 2019, Buttler unleashed himself on Joseph in the 13th. With 70 needed off 48 balls, Buttler brought the required rate down to a run a ball by the end of the over. He began lofting a full toss over long-on for six before driving wide of mid-off and cutting behind point for a pair of fours. Joseph tried to counter with a pair of yorkers on the next two balls, but each was stabbed out between the wicketkeeper and short third man for two more fours. Buttler then heaved the final ball over midwicket for six to end a demoralising sequence for Joseph and the hosts.

Buttler fell on his next ball in the following over to legspinner Rahul Chahar, but the damage was done by that stage. Despite several hiccups in the final stages of the chase that saw four wickets fall in the space of nine balls, Royals were still far enough in front thanks to Buttler. Shreyas Gopal eventually sealed it with three balls to spare with a four driven off Hardik Pandya just wide of mid-off.

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