Buttler Propels Rajasthan To 7-Wicket Victory

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Mumbai: Jos Buttler continued his red-hot form as he helped Rajasthan Royals beat Mumbai Indians by seven wickets at the Wankhede stadium on Sunday. With 12 points, Royals leapfrogged Mumbai to the fifth in the Indian Premier League standings.

Buttler took Royals home in style by smacking a six off Hardik Pandya as the visitors chased down the competitive 169-run target in just 18 overs. The English opener remained unbeaten on 94 off 53 balls with the help of five sixes and nine fours as he added a quick 61 runs in 4.4 overs with Sanju Samson for the third wicket. Samson hit two sixes and couple of fours in his 14-ball 26 cameo.

Mumbai moved down to sixth in the points table after their seventh defeat in 12 games. Chennai Super Kings also benefitted from the result as they sealed their spot in the play-offs with Mumbai’s defeat.

Jasprit Bumrah struck early to dismiss D’Arcy Short (4) in the first over to jolt the Royals. Skipper Ajinkya Rahane and in-form Buttler steadily revived the run chase and took the score to 51/1 after the six powerplay overs.

Buttler hit a six over long-on off Mayank Markande to guide Royals to 83/1 at the halfway mark.Buttler then reached fifty off 35 balls, his fifth in a row, to equal the record of most consecutive fifties in IPL with Virender Sehwag (2012). The duo then took Royals over 100-run mark in the 13th over.

Hardik removed Rahane (37 off 36 balls) in the next over to break the 95-run stand. But there was no stopping Buttler as he smacked a six and a four in consecutive balls off Pandya in the same over.

And after Rahane’s dismissal, Buttler and Samson attacked the Mumbai bowlers with hammer and tongs to score the remaining 65 runs in just 4.5 overs.Earlier, Evin Lewis smashed a 42-ball 60 before Hardik produced a quick-fire 36 to steer Mumbai Indians to a fighting 168/6.

Lewis batted smartly as he opened his arms only after building his innings steadily after being dropped at individual score of five. Lewis added 87 runs with fellow opener Suryakumar Yadav (38 off 31), who was also dropped on nine by the Royals fielders. Lewis hit four sixes and as many fours in his innings.

Pacer Jofra Archer produced excellent bowling performance to put the hosts under pressure. He conceded only 16 runs from his four overs and dismissed Suryakumar and Rohit Sharma (0) in successive balls. Ben Stokes also had a good day with the ball and finished with 2/26 in four overs.

The fluffed chances allowed Mumbai to come out of Power-play overs unscathed and with 51 runs on the board. Lewis broke the shackles by lofting Gopal for consecutive sixes in the ninth over.

A desperate Rahane brought back Archer and he not only provided the Royals the breakthrough by getting rid of Suryakumar but dealt a massive blow to the hosts by dismissing rival captain in the next ball.

Lewis raised his fifty with a six off Gowtham and also launched Dhawal Kulkarni for a six but the paceman stopped him in his tracks soon.

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