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Top Performer: Buttler's Royals treat

May 03, 2021 12:44 IST
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Jos Buttler

IMAGE: Jos Buttler celebrates his century against the SunRisers Hyderabad on Sunday. Photograph: BCCI

It was Jos Buttler at his devastating best. His maiden IPL century powered Rajasthan Royals to an emphatic 55-run victory over SunRisers Hyderabad in Delhi on Sunday, May 2, 2021.

The Englishman finally got back among the runs, stroking a career-best 124 to keep Royals in the hunt for a place in the play-offs.

The opener had struggled to impose himself in the first few games, scoring 130 runs in six, with a best of 49. But against SunRisers, he was back to his best as he produced a memorable knock, hitting 11 fours and eight sixes in his 64-ball knock.

Buttler took time to get going. His first boundary came in the fourth over, when he hit pacer Khaleel Ahmed over point, before hitting Bhuvneshwar Kumar for a couple of fours in the sixth over.

He blossomed in the company of Sanju Samson, who started off aggressively, as the duo rallied Royals after an early wicket.

Buttler lofted Vijay Shankar for a six over midwicket but was largely focussed on the singles in the middle overs. He scored 34 from the first 32 balls he faced before turning things in style by smashing 90 runs from the next 32.

He hit Sandeep Sharma for a straight six to bring up his 12th IPL fifty in grand style, after which he made his intentions clear as Khaleel got the same treatment in the next over.

SRH's gamble to bring in part-time spinner Mohammed Nabi, who replaced David Warner in the playing XI, backfired big time. Buttler took the Afghan spinner to the cleaners, hitting two sixes and as many fours in the 15th over.

He hit Shankar for a four through the covers before taking a single on the leg side to race to his first IPL century from 56 balls.

It was absolute carnage in the 19th over as Buttler hit Sandeep Sharma for a six and four and the pace bowler did not help his cause by bowling a no-ball which was also carted for a six. Buttler made most of the free hit delivery, blasting it for a six over cover before perishing, bowled off an inside edge, after an entertaining innings.

He powered Royals to a massive 220/3. SunRisers struggled in the run-chase and finished with a disappointing 165/8.

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