Jos Buttler's maiden T20 hundred powered Rajasthan Royals to a convincing 55-run win over Sunrisers Hyderabad in an IPL 2021 match at the Feroz Shah Kotla ground in New Delhi on Sunday.
Buttler muscled 11 fours and eight sixes in his 64-ball 124 as RR posted its highest-ever total — 220 — batting first.
Chasing 221, Jonny Bairstow and Manish Pandey — opening in place of David Warner, who was dropped — got SRH off to a flying start. The two added 57 off 36 before the Hyderabad side lost both in two overs after the PowerPlay ended: Pandey was clean bowled by Mustafizur Rahman and Bairstow was caught at long-on off Rahul Tewatia.
And new skipper Kane Williamson’s dismissal in the 13th over put RR firmly in control.
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Batting woes continue
The batting woes continued for a rejigged SRH line-up as Mustafizur (three for 20) and Chris Morris (three for 29) broke the back of the middle- and lower-order. This was SRH’s third consecutive loss, and sixth overall.
Earlier, RR, after being inserted, lost Yashasvi Jaiswal early. Rashid Khan, introduced in the PowerPlay for the first time this season, trapped Jaiswal in front with a slider.
Williamson shuffled his bowlers upfront, with Rashid and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, back in the team, bowling two each in the first six overs. Rashid could’ve nailed Buttler too had Vijay Shankar not misjudged a catch at long-on.
Buttler and captain Sanju Samson exploded to life in the seventh over of the innings, carving Vijay Shankar for a six each in an over that cost 18. Samson got a reprieve on 23 when Pandey dropped a simple chance at long-off.
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After Rashid had bowled out his quota by the 11th over, Buttler reached his first half-century of IPL-14 with a six. He followed it up with a flat-batted four over extra-cover, taking 17 off seamer Sandeep Sharma’s third over.
Samson joined the party with a boundary over short third-man, the shot also bringing up the century partnership with Buttler. As SRH was desperate for a breakthrough, Williamson delayed the introduction of his fifth bowler. When Mohammed Nabi finally came on — in the 15th over — Buttler collected 20 with two fours and as many sixes.
The 150-run second-wicket stand was broken when Abdul Samad caught Samson for 48 at long-off off Vijay Shankar. Two balls later, Buttler racked up his first IPL century off 56 balls before clobbering 22 in the 19th bowled by Sandeep to take RR past 200, a total that proved beyond SRH’s reach.