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IPL 2018: Match 47, MI vs RR, Review – Fantastic Jos Buttler powers Royals to a handsome victory

The target was never going to be enough as Mumbai botched up yet another good start.

Jos Buttler
Rajasthan Royals’ Jos Buttler celebrates his half-century. (Photo by Surjeet Yadav/IANS)

Jos Buttler once again ended up unbeaten in the 90s but he won yet another game for Rajasthan Royals (RR) which now keeps them well and truly alive in the tournament. He was simply magnificent tonight and literally single-handedly took his team to victory. Though the contribution from his skipper Ajinkya Rahane can’t be ignored before which the bowlers had done a fantastic job to restrict the hosts. However, Mumbai Indians (MI) were poor with the bat again and the loss has jeopardised their chances of qualification for the playoffs.

The visitors won the all-important toss and invited the defending champions to bat first anticipating that dew will play a huge crucial later in the night. They also made three changes to their winning combination by bringing in D’Arcy Short, Dhawal Kulkarni and Shreyas Gopal. Their opponents, however, went in unchanged and showed faith in the same lot to reap the rewards.

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Lewis and Surya provide good start

The opening duo of Suryakumar Yadav and Evin Lewis once again provided their side with a good start. They attacked from the very first over which was bowled by Krishnappa Gowtham. The momentum continued nicely as the former first took the charge of run-scoring before his powerful partner joined him to pile on the agony on the Royals. While Surya played the strokes down the ground, Lewis took the risk and middled all the balls which went out of the ground.

Moreover, they were dropped once each which didn’t help the fielding side and the duo pounced on. Both added 87 runs for the first wicket in less than 11 overs which set the hosts off to a fantastic start. Unfortunately, Mumbai once again lost their plot after the first wicket was fallen. Surya was the first one to go who looked hoick Jofra Archer out of the park but only ended up hitting it in the hands of Jaydev Unadkat in the deep. Rohit Sharma’s poor run continued as he bagged yet another golden duck and sucked all the momentum out of the innings.

Royals fight back stunningly

Royals then started their come back as Ajinkya Rahane rotated his bowlers nicely. Meanwhile, Lewis brought up his half-century but failed to stay in the middle and threw his wicket away in the 14th over. Soon the Man of the Match of the last game, Ishan Kishan also felt the pressure and mistimed a loft off Ben Stokes to leave his team struggling at 119/4. Even Krunal Pandya failed when it needed the most even as his brother Hardik Pandya once again held the fort for his team.

He hit some lusty blows towards the end and scored 36 runs off just 21 balls to power his team to a fighting total of 168 runs which was a little below par given the conditions.

Buttler’s excellence comes to the fore again

The Royals needed to bat steadily to gun down the chase and it was time for Jos Buttler to stand up once again. Once again they got off to a bad start with D’Arcy Short not learning from his previous mistakes. He was caught behind in the very first over as the new cherry moved a lot up front and he edged it. But it was in-form Buttler who hurt his ex-franchise the most. He looked in authoritative touch right from the word go and was once again determined in his approach.

He got a perfect supporter in Rahane who was playing in his home ground. He started his innings with a couple of cheeky boundaries off Mitchell McClenaghan and then only concentrated in rotating the strike even as his partner looked to take the attack on the hosts. While he was easily hitting maximums at will, a special stroke off Mayank Markande, the leggie, was absolutely pleasing to the eyes. The bowler bravely tossed the ball and also slowed it down as well, but Buttler picked it and smashed it over long-on which summed up Mumbai’s night completely.

Rahane was dismissed in the 14th over off Hardik Pandya which brought back the hopes of the hosts. But his partner continued to pummel the bowling as he notched his fifth consecutive half-century while opening the innings this season. Sanju Samson, the new man, also joined in the fun and smacked a couple of sixes in the 18th over which took the Royals close to the victory. In the end, fittingly, it was Jos Buttler who ended the game with a gigantic six and kept his team’s hopes to qualify for the playoffs alive.

The hosts though were themselves to blame as they posted a below par and botched up yet another start by their openers. They will now have to win their remaining games and hope a few results go their way now to go through to the knockouts now.

Here’s what England women’s team wicket-keeper tweeted

Brief Scores

Mumbai Indians 168/6 after 20 overs (E Lewis 60, S Yadav 38; J Archer 2/16, B Stokes 2/26)

Rajasthan Royals 171/3 after 18 overs (J Buttler 94*, A Rahane 37; H Pandya 2/52)

Result: Rajasthan Royals won by 7 wickets

Man of the Match: Jos Buttler

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