Jos Buttler produced another example of power-hitting as he struck a superb unbeaten half-century to lift Rajasthan Royals to a below-par 169/3 in 20 overs against Royal Challengers Bangalore in Match 13 of IPL 2022 at the Wankhede Stadium here on Tuesday.
Buttler, who scored a century against Mumbai Indians in their previous match, blasted four sixes in the last two overs of the innings as he remained unbeaten on 70 runs (42 balls, 6×6).
He stitched two vital partnerships — an 83-run unfinished stand with Shimron Hetmyer (42 not out – 31 balls,4×4, 6×2) for the fourth wicket and a 70-run partnership 0ff 49 deliveries with Devdutt Padikkal (37 – 29 balls, 4×2, 6×2) — which helped Rajasthan Royals set up RCB a target of 170 to chase.
Rajasthan got off to a poor start as Yashasvi Jaiswal in the second over, bowled while driving away from his body as he played for swing.
Buttler found a good ally in Karnataka opener Padikkal as they raised 70 runs for the second wicket to revive the innings. Buttler, who batted a bit slower than he did while hitting a century during his century against Mumbai Indians, got going in the last five overs as Rajasthan Royals added 66 runs in the last five overs.
Buttler completed his fifty off 42 deliveries but slammed four of his six hits over the fence in the last two overs — sixes off the final two deliveries of Mohammed Siraj’s fourth and final over, which was the 19th over the Royals’ innings and then two more sixes off successive balls off the 20th over bowled by Akash Deep. He enjoyed a life when David Willey dropped him off Akash Deep when he was at 11. RCB ended up paying a heavy price for that lapse.
Padikkal, who came in at one drop, made the most of his opportunity as he helped Buttler revive the innings. He was dropped by Siraj off Willey — and the ball rolled into the boundary rope, rubbed salt into the wound as he launched him over long-on, the over costing RCB 14 runs.
He was caught by Virat Kohli off Harshal Patel, mishitting a slower delivery. Kohli backpedals from mid-on and catches with reverse cup, stumbling down.
Hetmyer played a good foil to Buttler as they went on repairing the Royals innings once again, raising some quick runs in the last five overs as Rajasthan reached a modest total.
Brief scores: Rajasthan Royals 169/3 in 20 overs; (Jos Buttler 70 not out, Devdutt Padikkal 37, Shimron Hetmyer 42 not out; Harshal Patel 1/18, David Willey 1/29) against Royal Challengers Bangalore.