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Jos Buttler’s Blitzkrieg Helps RR Prevail In A Nail-Biting Finish

The first game of the Super IPL Saturday was nothing than an absolute blockbuster of encounter. The Ajinkya Rahane-led Rajasthan Royals (RR) thumped the hosts Mumbai Indians (MI) by four wickets in a sensational nail-biting game which went down towards the last over. In the first innings, MI reached an imposing total on the back of Quinton de Kock’s remarkable innings and Hardik Pandya’s brilliant late blitz.

But it was Jos Buttler’s outrageous knock in the second innings which enlightened the Wankhede Stadium with the ball flying in all parts of the ground. Buttler blasted a staggering assault to help RR attain a commanding position in the run-chase. However, the match did saw a twist in the tail as the visitors lost a flurry of wickets towards the end to advance the game towards a thrilling finish. RR all-rounder Shreyas Gopal then batted very much sensibly to steer his team to an ecstatic victory.

De Kock’s blistering knock and Hardik’s explosive finish propel MI to 187

RR skipper Ajinkya Rahane won the toss and he went in with the usual chasing tradition of the Mumbai wicket, electing to field first. The two MI openers, skipper Rohit Sharma and Quinton de Kock got their team off to a blazing start, smashing a blistering total of 57 runs in the first six overs of the powerplay. On his return to the side after injury, Rohit was looking in a great touch, striking an excellent knock of 47 runs off just 32 balls before holding out to Jos Buttler in the outfield. Rohit along with de Kock gave his team a fantastic opening platform, stitching a brilliant stand of 96 runs.

However, even after losing his opening partner, de Kock kept on playing in an aggressive fashion, racking up his second fifty of the tournament off 34 balls. He composed a remarkable innings of 81 runs which came off 52 balls and also consisted of 6 fours and 4 sixes. The home team did lose momentum with some quick wickets, but towards the end, Hardik Pandya compensated the matters, blasting an explosive cameo of 28 runs to power MI to an imposing total of 187 runs. Jofra Archer was the pick of RR bowlers, picking three vital wickets.

Buttler’s outrageous onslaught frustrates MI bowlers

The RR opening duo comprising of skipper Ajinkya Rahane and Jos Buttler started off the innings in an explosive manner.  The pair compiled an amazing opening partnership of 60 runs to help RR with a solid foundation at the top. Left-arm spinner Krunal Pandya provided MI with the opening breakthrough, dismissing Rahane in the seventh over. However, the real carnage took the centerstage just after Rahane’s wicket.

Buttler started exploding and ripping apart the MI bowling line-up into mere bits of pieces. He smacked a belligerent knock of 89 runs off just 43 balls which included 7 fours and as many sixes, to completely take the game away from the opposition. However, the match did take a u-turn towards the finish as RR lost a total of four wickets in just 4 overs. But then Shreyas Gopal held his nerves amazingly well to take RR over the line with three balls to spare.

Brief Scores:

MI: 187/5 in 20 overs (Quinton de Kock-81, Rohit Sharma-47; Jofra Archer 3/39)

RR: 188/6 in 19.3 overs (Jos Buttler-89, Ajinkya Rahane-37; Krunal Pandya 3/34, Jasprit Bumrah 2/34)

Result: Rajasthan Royals won the match by 4 wickets.