Buttler, bowlers hand RR their second win

Jos Buttler put on a fine exhibition of power-hitting twinned with finesse while the bowlers chipped away with wickets at regular intervals as Rajasthan Royals downed Mumbai Indians by 23 runs in a high-scoring IPL 2022 game at the Dr. Dy Patil Academy in Mumbai.

“Jos The Boss” steals the show

Jos Buttler played with controlled aggression to crack his second IPL hundred to provide RR’s bowlers with the runs (193) on the board. He started his innings with a flurry of shots while facing Basil Thampi in the fourth over. Buttler, who has a bottom-hand dominant grip, mostly targeted the straighter boundaries including the long-on region, with the misfiring Thampi bowling too straight. That over which cost 26 runs provided the foundation stone for RR’s innings. Despite losing Yashasvi Jaiswal and Devdutt Padikkal, the enterprising batter continued to play with royal flourish.

In the eighth over, he showed deft touch by collecting a couple of boundaries through the third man region and also reached his fifty with the second boundary. He also found an able ally in Sanju Samson as the pair added 82 for the third wicket to put RR in a position from where they could accelerate with a turbo-charger.

Hetmyer and fireworks

It was Shimron Hetmyer who provided the finishing touches to RR’s innings with a game-breaking 14-ball 35. Pollard, who had picked up the key scalp of Samson, was given the chance to complete his quota of overs and that didn’t go well for MI as the over cost 26 runs. On the other hand, Hetmyer took advantage of some poor bowling and crunched two fours and two sixes. The southpaw then smashed Tymal Mills for a six and a boundary. In that over, he also showed a touch of finesse by steering the left-arm bowler through backward point. With MI looking for a spark of inspiration, Jasprit Bumrah accounted for the big wickets of Hetmyer and Buttler. The yorker to Buttler would likely be the highlight of the day. Mills followed it up by taking a couple of wickets in the last over. Unfortunately for MI, it didn’t prove to be enough.

How did MI go about pursuing the target?

In fact, MI began their chase on the wrong note with Rohit cutting one to Riyan Parag who pouched a sharp catch. At that stage, Ishan Kishan cracked a slew of boundaries off the erring Navdeep Saini to get things back on track to some extent. Navdeep, though, did take the scalp of Anmolpreet Singh in that over. With the score reading 40/2, Tilak Varma joined Ishan Kishan in the middle and raised hopes of MI making a comeback. Tilak landed crucial blows against the pace-spin duo of Navdeep and Yuzvendra Chahal to keep the scorecard ticking over.

Just when the pair looked set to put pressure on RR, Navdeep made up for his ordinary bowling by gabbing an impressive low catch that led to the dismissal of Kishan. Even though Tilak continued to play with fearlessness and completed his fifty, he soon fell to Ravi Ashwin. Chahal then more or less shut the door on MI’s chances by prising out the duo of Tim David and Daniel Sams. Pollard cracked a few big hits in the slog overs but he had too much to do, with RR registering their second straight win. With the match turning out to be a day game, it also helped the side defending the target as there was no dew.

Brief scores: Rajasthan Royals 193/8 in 20 overs (Jos Buttler 100; Jasprit Bumrah 3-17) beat Mumbai Indians 170/8 in 20 overs (Tilak Varma 61; Yuzvendra Chahal 2-26) by 23 runs.

Updated: April 3, 2022 — 10:31 am

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