Jos Buttler found his mojo back as he played a match-winning knock of a 43-ball 89 as Rajasthan Royals beat Mumbai Indians by four wickets at the Wankhede Stadium on Saturday.
Buttler took on the Mumbai bowlers right from the beginning and never allowed the bowlers to settle down or rediscover their rhythm. The Englishman put on 60 runs along with skipper Ajinkya Rahane for the opening partnership. Rahane too supported him well by playing an important cameo of a 21-ball 37 at a strike rate of 176.19.
However, the turning point of the match was when Buttler hammered young West Indian fast bowler Alzarri Joseph for 28 runs in one over. The incident happened in the 13th over of Rajasthan's run chase. Joseph's over started with a six and also ended with a six. In between, the 22-year old speedster was hit for four consecutive boundaries. In the end, Rohit Sharma tried to cheer up the young bowler by applauding him as Joseph took his cap from the on-field umpire and walked back to his fielding position.
This video was posted on Twitter.
Post Rahane's dismissal, Buttler anchored Rajasthan's run chase as he stitched in an 87 run stand with young Kerala batsman Sanju Samson (31). The Rajasthan Royals' opening batsman went on to register his ninth IPL fifty and his third one of this season. He was eventually dismissed but by then he had bought his team on the cusp of victory. The English middle-order batsman hit eight boundaries and seven sixes at a strike rate of 206.98. Buttler now has 288 runs in seven matches at a strike rate of 153.19.
However, it seemed that the Royals pressed the panic button when they lost three wickets in four runs and would end up snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. But that was not the case as Shreyas Gopal kept his cool and helped the Royals get past the finish line to victory.
Earlier, South African wicket-keeper batsman Quinton de Kock had played a splendid knock of a 52-ball 81 which helped Mumbai Indians post a challenging total of 187/5 in their 20 overs.