Mumbai: Englishman Jos Buttler laid the platform with a rampaging 89 while Shreyas Gopal held his nerve at the death to power Rajasthan Royals to a four-wicket victory over Mumbai Indians in an Indian Premier League encounter here Saturday.
This was Royals’ second victory of the season in seven games after losing a last ball thriller to CSK less than 48 hours back. Put into bat, Mumbai Indians rode on a aggressive 81 by South African Quinton De Kock to post an imposing 187/5, but Buttler’s 43-ball knock studded with eight fours and seven sixes set the tone before Royals survived a scare to finish the game in 19.3 overs.
The match was a forgettable one for young West Indies pacer Alzarri Joseph (0/53 in 3 overs), who was hammered for eight fours and three sixes and then was injured trying to save a boundary. The 13th over changed the game’s complexion as Buttler smashed two sixes and four fours off Joseph to bring down the equation to a manageable run-a-ball.
Buttler first conjured a 60-run opening stand with skipper Ajinkya Rahane (37 off 21 balls, 6x 4; 1×6) to lay the foundation and then added 87 runs for the second wicket with Sanju Samson (31 off 26 balls; 2×4, 1×6).
Buttler initially played second fiddle to Rahane but then upped his ante once skipper was gone. The Englishman in the eighth over, hit Rahul Chahar for a six, and then in next over, smashed two sixes off Krunal Pandya as he raced to 50 off 29 balls.
When Buttler departed in the 14th over, Rajasthan needed 41 runs. But then came the twist in the tale when Mumbai did make a comeback of sorts sending four batsman — Samson, Rahul Tripathi (1), Steve Smith (12 ) and Liam Livingstone (1) — back to the pavilion as Rajasthan slumped to 174.6 from 147/2.
However, Shreyas Gopal (13 not out) and K Gowtham (0 not out) held their nerves to take the side home in a tense situation. Gopal hit the winning boundary off Hardik Pandya as celebrations erupted in the Rajasthan camp.Brief Scores:
Mumbai Indians: 187 for 5 in 20 overs (Quinton de Kock 81; Jofra Archer 3/39). Rajastha Royals : 188 for 6 in 19.3 overs (Jos Buttler 89; Krunal Pandya 3/34).