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Rediff.com  » Cricket » IPL PHOTOS: Buttler keeps Rajasthan in play-offs race after Mumbai thrashing

IPL PHOTOS: Buttler keeps Rajasthan in play-offs race after Mumbai thrashing

May 14, 2018 00:05 IST

Jos Buttler

IMAGE: Jos Buttler hits out during his match-winning knock of 94 from 53 balls. Photograph: BCCI

In-form Jos Buttler hit a record fifth successive IPL half-century as Rajasthan Royals thrashed Mumbai Indians by seven wickets to keep their play-off hopes alive, in Mumbai, on Sunday.

Buttler smashed an unbeaten 94 from 53 balls, laced with five sixes and nine fours, to power Rajasthan to 171 for three in 18 overs after Rajasthan's bowlers had done well to limit Mumbai Indians to 168 for six.

 

The wicketkeeper-batsman  added 95 runs for the second wicket with captain Ajinkya Rahane (37) as he carried his bat to steer his side past the finish line, finishing off the match in grand style with a six off Hardik Pandya, as the visitors cruised to victory with two overs to spare.

Jos Buttler

IMAGE: Jos Buttler celebrates after completing a record fifty successive IPL half-century. Photograph: BCCI

After Rahane's dismissal, Buttler added 61 runs with Sanju Samson, who chipped in with a useful cameo of 26 runs, including back to back sixes off Hardik in the 18th over.

The win lifted Rajasthan to fifth position in the standings with 12 points from as many games, while Mumbai's hopes were dealt a big blow as they have just 10 points from 12 games.

Earlier, opener Evin Lewis struck a half-century before Rajasthan Royals struck back with regular wickets to limit Mumbai Indians to 168 for six.

Opener Lewis and Suryakumar Yadav (38) put on 87 runs for the opening wicket before Rajasthan staged an impressive fightback in the middle overs.

Jofra Archer

IMAGE: A delighted Jofra Archer after dismissing Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma. Photograph: BCCI

Jofra Archer was instrumental in Rajasthan's comeback as he picked up two for 16, including the wickets of Suryakumar and Rohit Sharma off successive deliveries, in the 11th over.

Lewis added 87 runs with fellow opener Suryakumar Yadav (38) to give the hosts a good start before they lost their way in the middle overs.

Fast bowler Archer produced an excellent spell in the middle overs to put the hosts under pressure, as he registered splendid figures of two for 16 runs from his four overs, which was instrumental in choking Mumbai's batting line-up.

Hardik Pandya provided the flourish at the end as he hit 36 from 21 balls but the total seemed below par on a good batting wicket at the Wankhede stadium.

Evin Lewis

IMAGE: Evin Lewis hits a boundary. Photograph: BCCI

Archer troubled Lewis with bounce and created a catching chance but Stuart Binny could not hold on to a high catch at mid-on.

Suryakumar, who was also dropped on nine by Gowtham, though had adjusted to the bounce and negotiated both spinners and pacers nicely, playing confident drives.

The fluffed chances allowed Mumbai Indians to come out of Powerplay overs unscathed with 51 runs on the board, putting them on course for a huge total.

IMAGE: Rajasthan Royals celebrate the wicket of Evin Lewis. Photograph: BCCI

A desperate Rahane brought back Archer and he not only provided the Royals the breakthrough by getting rid of Suryakumar and then dealt a massive blow to the hosts by dismissing rival captain Rohit Sharma (0) off the very next ball, both caught at fine leg off short balls.

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, caught in the deep by Samson.