» Cricket » Top Performers: Phillips' Cameo Steals Buttler's Thunder

Top Performers: Phillips' Cameo Steals Buttler's Thunder

May 08, 2023 07:35 IST
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IMAGE: Glenn Phillips's cameo saw him pick up the Player of the Match award. Photograph: BCCI

It was heartbreak for Rajasthan Royals who fell to a stunning four-wicket loss at the hands of Sunrisers Hyderabad in front of their home fans at the Sawai Mansingh stadium in Jaipur on Sunday, May 7, 2023.

The Royals put up a record-breaking show as they performed with both bat and ball, but it all boiled down to the final over and Aiden Markram's side walked away with two points.

Opting to bat first, the Royals posted 214/3 -- the highest IPL score in Jaipur. One would think that itself would give the home team enough cushion to clinch a comfortable win. But it was not meant to be.

The unpredictable nature of T20 cricket meant the Royals let the match slip from a winning position.

IMAGE: Jos Buttler's smashing knock went in vain. Photograph: BCCI

Jos Buttler

Yashasvi Jaiswal has handed the hosts a strong start with his opening partner Jos Buttler enjoying the show from the best seat in the house. But on Sunday, Buttler found his rich vein of form.

After putting up an opening of 54 off 30 with Jaiswal, with Jaiswal scoring the bulk of the runs, the England short-form skipper pressed his foot on the peddle following Jaiswal's departure.

Jaiswal, who became the second youngest Indian -- after Rishabh Pant -- to cross the 1,000-run mark in the IPL, fell after a quickfire 18-ball 35.

With Jaiswal falling in the Powerplay, Buttler and Skipper Sanju Samson put up a record-breaking stand; they added 138 off just 81.

The Sunrisers bowlers looked clueless as Buttler brought up his fourth fifty off the season from 32 deliveries. Samson too brought up his half-century off 33 balls as they scored in tandem.

Buttler, who hadn't been explosive in IPL 2023 so far, broke free against SRH as he looked set for a century. But Bhuvneshwar Kumar ended his blistering knock as he fell just five short of a sizzling ton.

Heading into the game, Buttler had registered scores of 0 (2), 27 (21), 18 (19), 8 (6). He finally found his form as he hammered a sizzling 53-ball 91, laced with 10 fours and four sixes.

IMAGE: Yuzvendra Chahal picked up a four wicket haul. Photograph: BCCI

Yuzvendra Chahal

After the hosts put up a strong show with the bat, Yuzvendra Chahal once again let the way with the ball. Though the Sunrisers batters didn't really trouble the bowlers, Chahal's four-fer kept SRH in check.

The leg-spinner spun his web, as he has done so many times this season, returning with figures of 4/29. Chahal's haul included the first scalp of Anmolpreet Singh (33) along with the hard-hitting Heinrich Klaasen (26) and the key wickets of Rahul Tripathi (47) and Aiden Markram (6).

Apart from delivering with the ball, Chahal picked up Abhishek Sharma's wicket as Royals stayed on course for a comfortable win.

IMAGE: Abhishek Sharma celebrates his half-century. Photograph: BCCI

Abhishek Sharma

With a big task on the board, young Abhishek Sharma played a crucial knock for the visitors. The Sunrisers opener struck a 34-ball 55 to keep the former champions in the chase.

Sharma's second fifty of the season was laced with five boundaries and two sixes. After putting up an opening stand of 51 off 35 -- the highest by SRH this season, Sharma and Rahul Tripathi added 65 off 41 to keep the chase from slipping away.

IMAGE: Glenn Phillips hammered a 7-ball 25. Photograph: BCCI

Glenn Phillips

Coming in at No 6, Phillips needed to pull out something special to give the visitors a chance to stay in the game. Needing 41 from the last two overs, Phillips played a scintillating knock.

The Kiwi cricketer's stay at the crease was a short one, but the most important one for the visitors.

Striking at a whopping rate of 357.14, Phillips hammered a 7-ball 25. His three sixes and a boundary on the trot off Kuldip Yadav put SRH right back into the game.

On a day when Buttler and Samson played sizzling knocks, Phillips's seven-ball knock saw him pick up the Player of the-Match award.

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