Buttler serves winning recipe to RR; RCB end 6-game skid, open IPL account - GulfToday

Buttler serves winning recipe to RR; RCB end 6-game skid, open IPL account


Rajasthan Royals batsman Jos Buttler plays a shot against Mumbai Indians during their IPL match on Saturday. Agence France-Presse

Rajasthan Royals finally managed to script their second victory of the 2019 Indian Premier League (IPL) as Jos Buttler clattered 89 off 43 balls before Shreyas Gopal (13 off 7) rescued his side with the bat to beat Mumbai Indians by four wickets in yet another edge-of-the-seat contest at the Wankhede Stadium, here on Saturday.

Chasing a competitive 188 for victory, the visitors were comfortably placed at 147/1 in 13.1 overs. However, Krunal Pandya and Jasprit Bumrah rocked the Rajasthan middle-order as they tumbled to 174/6 in the 19th over before Gopal came to their rescue.

Rajasthan openers Ajinkya Rahane and Buttler were off to a watchful start and maintained a decent run-rate as the scorecard read 28/0 after three overs. The duo added another 31 runs in the next three overs before Krunal struck to send back skipper Rahane for 37 (21 balls, 4x6, 6x1).

New batsman Sanju Samson, along with Buttler, kept the scoreboard ticking as they took Rajasthan past the 100-run mark in the 10th over. Buttler slowly shifted gears as he smashed medium pacer Alzarri Joseph for 28 runs in the 13th over with Rajasthan placed at 146/1.

Rahul Chahar then gave Mumbai the much-needed breakthrough, as he got rid off the dangerous Buttler in the 14th over. While trying to clear the fence, Buttler (89; 43 balls, 4x8, 6x7) holed out to Suryakumar Yadav at the long-off fence.

Samason kept the runs flowing before Bumrah packed him back in the 17th over with Rajasthan needing 18 off the last three overs.

Things turned ugly for the visitors as Krunal struck twice in the 18th over, accounting for Rahul Tripathi (1) and Liam Livingstone (1), before Bumrah made the situation worse for Rajasthan by dismissing Steve Smith (12) in the next over.

With six needed off the final over, Shreyas Gopal held his nerve to pick a couple of runs in the first ball before smashing Hardik Pandya for a boundary in the third delivery to help Rajasthan clinch a thriller.

Bottom-placed Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) finally ended their winning draught in the ongoing season of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019 as skipper Virat Kohli’s scintillating 53-ball 67 followed by AB de Villiers (59* off 38) and Marcus Stoinis (28* off 16) fruitful knock guided them to a thumping eight-wicket victory over Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) at the Punjab Cricket Association IS Bindra Stadium here on Saturday.

It was the 85-run stand between Kohli and de Villers before the South African got involved in a match-winning 46-run partnership with Stoinis which handed Bangalore a much needed win.

Defending 174, Punjab bowlers not only failed in getting wickets but also leaked runs as the visitors crossed the line with four balls to spare.

Eyeing their maiden win this season, openers Partiv Patel (19 off 9) and Kohli started on a good note as they added 36 runs in the first three overs before the former became a victim of Ravichandran Ashwin in the fourth over.

Kohli, who has been recently criticised a lot for not leading Bangalore decently, however took charge of the chase and led from the front with de Villers to help his side cross the 100-run mark in 11.1 overs. The Bangalore skipper meanwhile, also notched up his half-cetntury off 37 balls.

With everything moving in Bangalore’s way tonight, Mohammed Shami bought some relief to the Punjab camp after picking the crucial wicket of KOhli in the 16th over with the visitors’ score reading 128/2.

Kohli’s knock contained eight boundaries.

The Punjab bowlers however, were denied to make any further inroads in the Bangalore batting line-up as de Villiers and Stoinis joined hands and played sensibly before fetching 14 runs in the second last over off Shami.

In the final over, Ashwin handed the ball to former Bangalore player Sarfaraz Khan to defend five runs. However, there was no stopping the Bangalore pair as Stoinis hammered a four in the first ball before picking the required couple of runs in the next to hand a comfortable victory to his side.


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