Navi Mumbai: Jos Buttler scored his second IPL century and first of the 2022 edition and propelled Rajasthan Royals to a huge 193/8 in 20 overs against Mumbai Indians at the DY Patil Stadium.
With Buttler’s onslaught, where his first fifty came off 32 balls and the next off 34 balls, Rajasthan were expected to touch 200. But some excellent death bowling from Jasprit Bumrah and Tymal Mills in the last two overs meant Mumbai prevented them from finishing the innings on a high.
Rajasthan lost Yashasvi Jaiswal and Devdutt Padikkal cheaply inside the powerplay, but Buttler looked in excellent touch. From the time he got his first boundary off Bumrah in the opening over, Buttler gave the feel of being an unstoppable force on a bright Saturday afternoon.
A harmless short ball from Daniel Sams was pulled by Buttler on backfoot over deep mid-wicket. But he gained momentum from the fourth over when pacer Basil Thampi erred in his lengths. Buttler hit him for three fours and two sixes in a 26-run over. Such was the effect of Buttler taking Thampi to cleaners that the pacer was’t given another over throughout the match and captain Rohit Sharma had to bring in Kieron Pollard to bowl.
It didn’t make much of a difference as Buttler reached his fifty in 32 balls with back-to-back fours through point followed by the gap between keeper and short third man off Sams in the eighth over. He continued to toy with the bowling attack, punishing leg-spinner Murugan Ashwin with a boundary when he strayed down the leg side too often. Ashwin continued to be wayward as Buttler hit him for a six over extra cover followed by reverse sweeping past short third man.
Supporting him from the other end was captain Sanju Samson, who blasted a 21-ball 30 and shared a stand of 82 with Buttler for the third wicket. After Samson fell to Pollard, Shimron Hetmyer went big in his critical cameo of 35 off just 14 balls, 26 of which came in Pollard’s final over through two fours and as many sixes. He then thrashed Tymal Mills for a four and six in the next over.
Buttler had a nervous moment at 99 when he got an inside edge on his pad from a Jasprit Bumrah yorker. After replays confirmed that Buttler had survived the lbw review, he reached his second IPL century and first of the tournament in just 66 balls. Though Bumrah triggered a late wobble by getting Hetmyer and Buttler out followed by the run-out of Ravichandran Ashwin, Rajasthan were able to reach a competitive total despite losing two more wickets in the final over.
Brief scores: Rajasthan Royals 193/8 in 20 overs (Jos Buttler 100, Shimron Hetmyer 35; Jasprit Bumrah 3/17, Tymal Mills 3/35) against Mumbai Indians.