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Who Batted Best? Kohli Or Buttler? Vote!

By LAXMI NEGI
April 07, 2024 08:41 IST
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Virat Kohli had just sculpted a magnificent century. Yet, destiny had a different scriptwriter in mind. On this special night, the spotlight would shift to Jos Buttler, the swashbuckling England T20 skipper.

Celebrating his 100th IPL match, Buttler roared back to form with a stunning unbeaten century (100 off 58 balls). This audacious knock not only overshadowed Kohli's valiant 113 but propelled the Rajasthan Royals to a dominant six wicket victory over the Royal Challengers Bengaluru.

 

A look at the best knocks in the Rajasthan Royals-Royal Challengers Bengaluru game:

Jos Buttler

Jos Buttler

Buttler announced his return to form in emphatic fashion on Saturday, April 6, 2024, at the Sawai Mansingh stadium in Jaipur.

Rajasthan's chase began on a shaky note with opener Yashasvi Jaiswal dismissed for a golden duck.

However, the innings was quickly rescued by the imperious duo of Sanju Samson and Buttler.

The two batters forged a splendid 145 run stand for the second wicket, taking the attack to the RCB bowlers. Their intent was clear from the final over of the Powerplay itself, as they launched a fusillade of boundaries, putting the Royals firmly in control of the chase.

All eyes were now on Buttler, who was inching closer to a well-deserved century.

With just 1 run required for victory in the final over, the weight of expectation settled on Buttler's shoulders. However, the Englishman, known for his big-match temperament, didn't disappoint.

In a moment of pure cricketing brilliance, he dispatched the ball soaring over the midwicket boundary for a six, sealing both his century and the Royals' emphatic win with 5 balls to spare.

This victory marked the Royals' fourth consecutive win in IPL 2024, solidifying their position as serious contenders for the championship.

The credit for this dominant performance undoubtedly belonged to Buttler, who silenced his critics with a hundred for the ages on a special occasion. His innings, adorned with 9 boundaries and 4 sixes, was a testament to his skill and resilience.

Sanju Samson

Sanju Samson

Samson's well-paced half-century (69 off 42 balls) was the spark that ignited the Royals' chase.

Samson began cautiously, building his innings with watchful defenec. However, his intent became clear in Mayank Dagar's second over. A six that sailed over the long on boundary, followed by two crisp boundaries, showcased Samson's power-hitting ability.

While Samson played the aggressor, using deft touches and targeting straight boundaries, Buttler matched his intensity with his characteristic power-hitting. This well-rounded approach left the RCB bowling attack with very little room to manoeuvre.

Lady Luck also smiled upon Samson during his innings. A crucial dropped catch by Kohli when he was on just 28 could have potentially altered the course of the match. However, the athletic wicket-keeper-batsman capitalised on this reprieve, displaying his composure and accelerating the chase further.

Samson's dismissal in the 15th over, although creating a brief moment of tension, couldn't derail the momentum he had built.

His fifty, a blend of caution, calculated aggression laid the foundation for the Royals' comfortable victory.

Virat Kohli

Virat Kohli

Kohli's eighth IPL century was a lone bright spot in an otherwise forgettable night for RCB. Despite his valiant 113* (72 balls), RCB fell short, leaving Kohli's phenomenal effort in vain.

The run-machine continued to shoulder the responsibility for the RCB scoreboard, as he took the visitors to 183/3.

Kohli has now scored 38% of RCB's runs this season. A great sign for his form, but a dismissal stat for the rest of the RCB line-up, as they once again failed to support Kohli from the other end.

He partnered with Faf du Plessis for a nostalgic 100 run opening stand, reminiscent of their destructive partnership from last season. However, once Faf departed, the rest of the RCB batting line-up failed to capitalieS, leaving Kohli with too big a burden to bear.

While Kohli's knock was undoubtedly impressive, it wasn't his most fluent. The slightly tacky pitch in the first half of the innings restricted his stroke-making, leading to a slower start. He took 67 balls to reach his century, the joint-slowest in IPL history for a three-figure mark.

After getting off the mark with a single off Trent Boult, Kohli opened his boundary count in the second over, taking two fours off Nandre Burger.

A stellar pull shot saw him clear midwicket to take his first boundary off the evening off Burger. Kohli got another one as he dispatched Burger through square leg to get his innings off to a steady start.

Kohli picked Burger to hit his first maximum off the evening as lifted a gorgeous shot over square leg for a six.

He brought up his half-century with a massive six off part-time bowler Riyan Parag.

Kohli took 39 balls to bring up his 53rd IPL fifty and the third one of the season.

Dropped on 66 by Burger, Kohli switched gears. After taking 39 to bring up his fifty, Kohli took 28 deliveries to bring up his next fifty.

Treating the crowd to some vintage shots, he brought up his eighth IPL hundred off 67 deliveries.

With 'Kohli! Kohli!' echoing through the stadium, he raised his bat to acknowledge the crowd.

This was Kohli's first ton against the Rajasthan Royals.

Scoring at a rate of 156.94, he treated the crowd to some vintage strokes, peppering his innings with 12 boundaries and 4 sixes.

Faf du Plessis

Faf du Plessis

After a string of underwhelming scores to start the season, RCB's captain finally found his touch. While Kohli stole the show with a century, Faf's supporting knock of 44 runs (33 balls) shouldn't be overlooked.

Faf had endured a string of disappointing single digit scores. However, against RR, he showed signs of returning to form. He started aggressively, creaming the first boundary of the match over the covers off Boult. Though Kohli dominated the scoring, Faf played his role, finding the occasional boundary to keep the scoreboard ticking.

After a period of controlled batting, Faf decided to break free in the ninth over. Facing Boult, he unleashed two powerful sixes -- one over midwicket and another a well-pulled shot over the same region. This display of power-hitting demonstrated his intent to contribute significantly to the partnership.

Faf and Kohli's 125 run opening stand was the highest partnership for any wicket in the IPL 2024 season so far. It was also the second-highest opening stand for RCB against the Royals, highlighting its importance in setting the tone for the innings.

While Kohli shouldered the majority of the scoring, Faf ensured the partnership continued to flourish, maintaining a run rate of nearly nine per over.

Faf's innings, though cut short by Yuzvendra Chahal in the 14th over, provided a solid foundation for the RCB batting order. His knock was laced with two boundaries and two sixes.

Following a string of low scores -- 35 vs CSK, 3 vs PBKS, 8 vs KKR, 19 vs LSG -- Faf will be relieved to have gotten some runs under his belt.

RCB Vs RR: Who Batted Best?

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LAXMI NEGI / Rediff.com

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