Jos Buttler’s 66-ball century helped Rajasthan Royals hand Mumbai Indians a second straight loss to open the Indian Premier League on Saturday.
Buttler was out for 100 runs off 68 balls as Rajasthan powered to 193-8. In reply, Mumbai could manage only 170-8 in 20 overs and a loss by 23 runs, despite Ishan Kishan’s second half-century in as many matches.
Put in to bat, Rajasthan was two wickets down quickly when Buttler joined Sanju Samson (30). The pair put on 82 runs off 50 balls for the third wicket.
Buttler hit 11 fours and five sixes and Rajasthan’s scoring rate rocketed as the innings advanced from 100 in only 10.3 overs to 150 in 16.1 overs.
The England opener reached 50 off 32 balls and the second 50 from 34 in his second IPL hundred.
At the other end, Shimron Hetmyer smacked 35 off 14 balls with three sixes after Samson’s dismissal.
Jasprit Bumrah (3-17) bowled Buttler in the 19th over but the batter had done enough to make sure Rajasthan finished with a challenging total.
In reply, Mumbai was dealt a major blow when Prasidh Krishna dismissed Rohit Sharma on 10.
Kishan made 54 from 43 balls with five fours and a six. He put on 81 runs with Tilak Varma, who scored 61 off 33.
Varma hit five sixes and three fours as they powered Mumbai’s chase with 100 coming off 10.5 overs.
However, Mumbai collapsed in losing four wickets for 15 runs.
Yuzvendra Chahal claimed 2-26 and Ravichandran Ashwin took 1-30 as the spin duo squeezed Mumbai in the middle overs. Ashwin bowled Varma, while Chahal got rid of Tim David (1) and Daniel Sams (0) on successive deliveries. Trent Boult had Kishan caught and the game turned in Rajasthan’s favor.
After the game, Buttler and Chahal spoke to each other in a hilarious conversation. The two also discussed about Chahal’s aspirations of opening the batting alongside Buttler. Chahal asked if Buttler feels confident opening the batting for RR knowing he is batting at No. 8 or 9. Buttler gave a cheeky response.
“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.”