Mumbai Indians struggled their way to 168 for six which seemed well below par on a true surface at the Wankhede Stadium. And England wicketkeeper Buttler proved as much as he hit nine fours and five sixes during his 53-ball 94 not out.
Rajasthan Royals thus moved up to fifth on the points table and also pushed Chennai Super Kings into the playoffs.
MUMBAI’S STUTTERING START
Mumbai Indians openers Suryakumar Yadav and Evin Lewis were together until the 11th over but the runs didn’t quite flood in. They maintained a run rate of around eight an over which meant Rajasthan weren’t exactly out of the game.
Then Jofra Archer shifted the momentum towards Rajasthan with two cracking short deliveries. The first one to Suryakumar hurried the batsman as Jaydev Unadkat took a low catch at fine leg. And the very next delivery, Archer banged on in short to leave captain Rohit Sharma in a tangle. The ball ballooned to Unadkat at fine leg again and he did well to hold on to a difficult chance.
Jofra Archer at 3 crores could be one of the all time steals of the IPL. If RR are smart, they would never let him go now. Such a shame the rest of their team is shit. Jofra deserves to play for genuine title contenders.— Shanky (@CricAussieFan) May 13, 2018
ARCHER AND STOKES A CLASS APART
All-rounders Archer and Ben Stokes were instrumental in keeping Mumbai down to a manageable total. Archer gave away just 16 runs from his four overs and took the key scalp of Rohit. Stokes, on the other hand, put a disappointing season behind him to finish with a respectable 2-26. The England all-rounder dismissed two of the biggest strikers in the Mumbai camp – Hardik Pandya and Ishan Kishan – to show the quality that players can find a way out of any slump.
BUMRAH’S SUPER FIRST OVER
Mumbai Indians needed a strong start in their defence. Opening bowler Jasprit Bumrah bowled a brilliant first ball to D’Arcy Short, with the attempted yorker taking the inside edge. He then got the ball to swing away after pitching to catch Short’s outside edge which the keeper Kishan collected cleanly.
BUTTLER SERVES UP ANOTHER TREAT
The big turning points for #RajasthanRoyals have been the promotion of Buttler but also the arrival of Archer— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) May 13, 2018
Rajasthan wicketkeeper Buttler is having the time of his life at the top of the order. Ever since he was promoted to the opener’s role, the English keeper hasn’t looked back.
On Sunday, Buttler took it upon himself to push Mumbai’s bowlers on the backfoot as he kept two main threats – spinners Krunal Pandya (0-24) and Mayank Markande (0-32) – quiet. He raced to his fifth consecutive fifty of the IPL, making him only the fourth player in history to hit as many successive fifties in the format. Also, he became only the second player in IPL – after Virender Sehwag in 2012 – to hit five straight fifties.
Jos Buttler hit his fifth straight fifty as Rajasthan Royals defeated Mumbai Indians by seven wickets at the Wankhede Stadium.
Rajasthan won the toss and decided to bowl first. Opener Ewin Lewis hit 60 as Mumbai posted a competitive 168-6.
In reply, opener Buttler hit an unbeaten 94 to secure victory.
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Chasing 180 against a string Hyderabad attack, Rayudu cracked a superlative century and added 134 for the opening wicket with Shane Watson to help Chennai win the match comfortably and all but qualify for the IPL playoffs.
The Super Kings now have eight wins from 12 matches and are on the verge of qualification.
DHAWAN-WILLIAMSON SHOW AGAIN
Most century partnerships by a pair in an IPL season:— Bharath Seervi (@SeerviBharath) May 13, 2018
5 Kohli-ABD, 2016
3 Dhawan-Gambhir, 2008
3 Gayle-Kohli, 2012
3* Dhawan-Williamson, 2018#CSKvSRH
Sunrisers Hyderabad are a top heavy side. Their top three batsmen have generally done all the heavy lifting. Earlier it was David Warner and Shikhar Dhawan. This year it’s Dhawan and captain Kane Williamson.
It’s a strategy that has worked for them. On Sunday, opener Alex Hales was dismissed for a laborious two from nine balls. It was left to the prolific Williamson (51) and Dhawan (79) to put some impetus into the innings by adding 123 runs for the second wicket.
SEAMERS STRIKE BACK
Sunrisers were 141-1 in the 16th over and a total close to 200 seemed on the cards. However, Chennai dismissed Dhawan and Williamson off successive deliveries with Dwayne Bravo getting the Indian and Shardul Thakur dismissing the Kiwi skipper.
Deepak Hooda connected a few towards the end. Otherwise Sunrisers would have struggled to reach close to 180.
OPEN AND SHUT CASE
The Super Kings top order has been in great form this season and they reserved their best for the best bowling attack in the tournament. Opener Ambati Rayudu (100*) and Shane Watson (57) took on the might of Hyderabad’s bowling, not allowing Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Siddarth Kaul especially to settle. The two Indian seamers were blasted for 78 runs from seven overs. Chennai’s openers accumulated 134 runs inside 14 overs.
POOR FIELDING HURTS SUNRISERS
Despite the opening stand, Hyderabad had a golden opportunity to knock the wind out of Chennai’s sail during the death overs. In the second ball of the 16th over, MS Dhoni slapped Shakib Al Hasan straight to long on where Manish Pandey, one of the safest fielders in India, dropped an absolute dolly.
A wicket at that point would have reduced Chennai to 143 for three with 37 needed from 28 balls. However, that chance was all that Dhoni needed to take the game by the scruff of the neck. Dhoni finished the game off with 20 from 14.
RAYUDU ON A ROLL
Chennai batsman Ambati Rayudu has been in scintillating form this season. He has 535 runs from 12 matches and the best part about his batting has been an uncomplicated approach to batting.
Rayudu has been around for more than a decade and has made regular appearances in the national team as well. But his batting never looked as smooth and effortless it has this season.
It has been an amazing change in fortunes for Rayudu who last year made headlines for a road-rage incident where he was captured on camera getting into a fight with a senior citizen.
He maybe 32 right now but it can be said Rayudu has made a fresh start in his career.