Buttler Scores 81, But Gopal Helps Rajasthan Cross the Line vs MI
Six boundaries – two sixes and four fours – in the 13th over courtesy Jos Buttler and Rajasthan Royals were sailing in their run chase against the Mumbai Indians on Saturday, 13 April.
But on the second ball of the 14th over, Buttler was caught out by Suryakumar Yadav off a delivery by young Rahul Chahar, and he walked back to the hut after an impressive 43-ball 81 at the Wankhede stadium.
Rajasthan needed 35 off 36 balls, but Mumbai Indians’ bowling line-up made sure that it wasn’t a cake walk.
From 170/2, Rajasthan were reduced to 174/6, still needing 14 off 11 balls.
Two uncapped Indians, Shreyas Gopal and K Gowtham, were now at the crease and had to face deliveries off pacers Hardik Pandya and Jasprit Bumrah to get to their target. It was Gopal who kept his composure, scored a 7-ball 13 and helped Rajasthan win by 4 wickets, with 3 balls remaining.
This was Rajasthan Royals’ second win in 7 matches while Mumbai Indians lost to their third loss in seven games.
Mumbai Indians’ Innings
Put into bat, Mumbai Indians rode on a aggressive 81 by South African Quinton De Kock to post an imposing 187/5.
De Kock was the wrecker-in-chief as he hammered six fours and four sixes in his 52-ball knock and got able support from skipper Rohit Sharma (47 off 32 balls), who made a comeback after missing out the last Mumbai game due to a leg injury.
The two added 96 for the first wicket, starting the onslaught in the third over amassing 18 runs with the South African hitting a six and four off Krishnappa Gowtham.
Then Rohit ripped apart pacer Dhawal Kulkarni, striking three fours, including a splendid cover drive, as Mumbai gathered 14 runs from it.
De Kock kept playing shots at will even as Mumbai reached 57/0 after Powerplay period. Then De Kock dispatched spinner Liam Livingstone for two sixes over deep mid-wicket as runs came thick and fast. He raced to his fifty in 34 balls.
Rohit, who struck six fours and a lone six, threw his wicket away giving a sitter to Jos Buttler off Jofra Archer.
And then Rajasthan made a good comeback removing Surya Kumar Yadav (16) and Kieron Pollard (6) to reduce the hosts to 136/3.
Rajasthan bowlers made a splendid comeback as they removed De Kock and Ishan Kishan before a late cameo from Hardik Pandya (28 off 11 balls), in which he smashed three sixes and one fours ensured Mumbai neared the 190-run mark.
Rajasthan Royals’ Innings
Englishman Jos Buttler first conjured a 60-run opening stand with skipper Ajinkya Rahane (37 off 21 balls, 6x 4; 1x6) to lay the foundation and then added 87 runs for the second wicket with Sanju Samson (31 off 26 balls; 2x4, 1x6).
Buttler initially played second fiddle to Rahane but then upped his ante once skipper was gone. The Englishman in the eighth over, hit Rahul Chahar for a six, and then in next over, smashed two sixes off Krunal Pandya as he raced to 50 off 29 balls.
When Buttler departed in the 14th over, Rajasthan needed 41 runs. But then came the twist in the tale when Mumbai did make a comeback of sorts sending four batsman – Samson, Rahul Tripathi (1), Steve Smith (12 ) and Liam Livingstone (1) – back to the pavilion as Rajasthan slumped to 174.6 from 147/2.
However, Shreyas Gopal (13 not out) and K Gowtham (0 not out) held their nerves to take the side home in a tense situation. Gopal hit the winning boundary off Hardik Pandya as celebrations erupted in the Rajasthan camp.
The match was a forgettable one for young West Indies pacer Alzarri Joseph (0/53 in 3 overs), who was hammered for eight fours and three sixes and then was injured trying to save a boundary.