Updated: May 14, 2018 11:43:58 am
Jos Buttler smashed a match-winning unbeaten 94 runs from 53 balls at the Wankhede Stadium to hamper Mumbai Indians’ push for the playoff spot in the Indian Premier League on Sunday. On the other hand, it took Rajasthan Royals one step closer to clinching a last-four spot of their own. The knock took him level with Virender Sehwag with five straight fifties in T20s. Sehwag had scored five consecutive fifties for the Delhi Daredevils in 2012.
Having made the switch from Mumbai Indians to Rajasthan Royals, Buttler had started the season in the middle order to get the team a late surge. But the outcome wasn’t what the Ajinkya Rahane-led side were hoping for. The England batsman began with scores of 29, 23, 24, 22, 6 and 10 before turning a tide after being promoted to the opening slot. Since then, he has scored 67, 51, 82, 95* and 94* on Sunday. With nine boundaries and five sixes, Buttler took his side past the winning line with seven wickets and 12 balls to spare. The five consecutive half centuries equals the all-time T20 record shared by Sehwag, Pakistan’s Kamran Akmal and Zimbabwe’s Hamilton Masakadza.
Speaking at the post match presentation, having won the Man of the Match Award, Buttler said, “Found some good form and I’m trying to keep it going. I’ve spent a lot of time batting in the middle order, so I try to be there till the end. The familiarity of the ground and the wicket helped me today.” The Man of the Match award was his third this season to take him level with Sunil Narine and Rashid Khan with most number of personal accolades in 2018.
The 94 run knock from 53 balls ensured a third straight win for Rajasthan Royals. It once again reignited RR’s hopes of making the playoffs with four teams in the running for the final two spots. Chennai Super Kings and Sunrisers Hyderabad have already bagged a place in the latter stages of the tournament. Rajasthan will next play Kolkata Knight Riders on Wednesday while Mumbai Indians face Kings XI Punjab in a must-win game. A defeat there and the defending champion would be out of the competition.
© IE Online Media Services Pvt Ltd