England keeper-batsman Jos Buttler came out in full flow as he slammed a hundred in 66 balls against Mumbai Indians while playing for Rajasthan Royals. However, as he candidly admitted, he was facing stiff pressure from a certain someone in the batting order which turned out to be the decisive push for the 31-year-old to go for the kill. Yes, it was Yuzvendra Chahal. The Indian spinner had earlier joked that how he would have opened with Buttler if provided a chance.
“Absolutely! Ever since you turned up this year, you have been putting pressure on the opening spot. Have to take my time to score some runs to keep you on the outside,” Buttler told Chahal in a video chat between the two after the match.
Jos Buttler’s manic mayhem was matched in equal measure by spin twins Ravichandran Ashwin and Yuzvendra Chahal as Rajasthan Royals beat Mumbai Indians by 23 runs in an IPL match on Saturday. Buttler (100 off 68 balls) scored his second IPL ton off only 66 balls to help the Royals to 193 for 8, which seemed slightly sub-par due to Jasprit Bumrah’s (3/17 in 4 overs) brilliant effort.
“Really enjoyed today. When you are batting first you try to work out what will be a good score and I thought we put up a nice total,” said Buttler.
Ishan Kishan (54 off 43 balls) and unheralded N Tilak Verma (61 off 33 balls) added 81 in 8 overs before Ashwin (1/30 in 4 overs) and Chahal (2/26 in 4 overs) decisively tilted the game in RR’s favour between overs 14 to 16 as MI managed only 170 for 8 after 20 overs. While Royals have now won two out of two, MI have lost both their games in another dismal start to an IPL season.
In the end, there were two factors that combined to bring about MI’s downfall. Firstly, it was Buttler’s (11 fours and five sixes) assault against MI’s weak-links like Basil Thampi and Murugan Ashwin that made the difference. Three such overs yielded 73 runs and even Bumrah’s brilliance didn’t seem to be enough in the final context of the match.