IPL 2018: Jos Buttler hits fifth consecutive fifty in Rajasthan Royals' crucial win over Mumbai Indians

Ajit Vijaykumar 22:38 13/05/2018
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Buttler hit his fifth straight IPL fifty. Image: BCCI.

Rajasthan Royals roared to a an emphatic seven-wicket win over Mumbai Indians on the back of the fifth straight IPL fifty by wicketkeeper Jos Buttler.

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.

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

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.

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