Another Buttler special gives RR comfortable win

Ben Stokes

The England wicketkeeper-batsman's unbeaten 94 off 53 balls against the Mumbai Indians kept his Rajasthan Royals the IPL playoff race and matched Sehwag's mark set in 2012.

England worldwide Buttler stuck a masterful 94 not out off just53 deliveries to guide Rajasthan Royals to victory with two overs still to spare after they were given a target of 169 to chase.

The 43rd match of the Indian Premier League is between Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan Royals. Before Sunday, he'd taken five wickets at 6.88 during the Powerplay.

The opening pair had been circumspect with Lewis bringing up the first two sixes of the MI innings in the ninth over sent down by leg-spinner Shreyas Gopal. He wouldn't get a third over.

Gowtham was the first one to deny Rajasthan the breakthrough after Suryakumar Yadav played an early flick towards mid-on but the fielder fell inches short to cover ground.

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In the bowling unit, Mumbai bowlers are continuously getting wickets and in the past few games they have also restricted the leakage of runs in the slog overs. Since both these batsman have regularly failed with the bat, Royals middle-order seemed to look weak.

To him, Royals' seamers went full and wide outside off, right from the start.

Jofra Archer troubled Lewis with pace and bounce. Buttler unfurled a wide array of strokes, from conventional straight drives to slog sweeps. Rajasthan continued to chip away, dismissing Ishan Kishan and Krunal Pandya who were caught in the deep trying to force the pace. However, Hardik Pandya helped the hosts to a competitive total with a late charge, scoring 36 runs off 21 balls before holing out to Stokes in the penultimate ball of the innings. It's a double header day of which first game is SRH vs CSK, which starts at 4 pm on May 13. Skipper Ajinkya Rahane took charge early as Buttler took his time to settle.

And, on this occasion, it worked. They added a valuable 95 in 74 balls. When Rahane fell, the required rate was just above nine. Sanju Samson came then and played an important knock of 26 (14) alongside Butler to help RR win the match at the end of the 18th over.

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