IPL

Buttler blasts Royals to another win despite inspired display from Indians teenager Varma

By Sports Desk April 02, 2022

Jos Buttler's second Indian Premier League century helped maintain Rajasthan Royals' winning start in 2022, setting the stage for a 23-run defeat of Mumbai Indians.

The Indians put their opponents in to bat first but no doubt soon regretted that decision as opener Buttler plundered 100 off 68 balls.

That knock did the heavy lifting in the Royals' 193-8 – a total that proved comfortably beyond Mumbai, despite the best efforts of teenager Tilak Varma (61).

Buttler had 26 runs in a dizzying fourth over alone and later put on 82 with captain Sanju Samson (30) for the third wicket in the biggest partnership of the match.

Shimron Hetmyer (35) played his part and the Royals were moving at a blistering pace up until his departure, collapsing from 183-3 with 11 balls remaining.

That shaky finish looked like it could prove costly when Varma joined Ishan Kishan (54) in the middle, but Ravi Ashwin finally got the better of the 19-year-old.

Yuzvendra Chahal (2-26) then set about tidying up the rest of the middle order, getting Tim David and Daniel Sams from consecutive deliveries before creating a hat-trick chance with his ball to Murugan Ashwin, only for Karun Nair to fluff the catch, if not his team's ultimately routine win.

Bumrah bests Buttler after brilliant show

One of the great limited-overs batsmen, Buttler's tally of a single hundred in 66 prior IPL matches was on the light side. He was well on the way to his second century within four overs, though, with 38 runs off 20 balls at that stage.

The England wicketkeeper hit five boundaries in succession – two fours and three sixes – in that fourth over. Although that pace then slowed a little, it still required an elite bowler to eventually get Buttler, with a Jasprit Bumrah beauty among three wickets in the 19th over as he finished with 3-17.

Victory charge ends with Varma wicket

Varma could not join Buttler on three figures, but this was a first fifty and will surely not be his last. It said a lot for Varma's performance that he earned a send off from Ashwin, having sent him for six with a reverse sweep from the previous ball.

Unfortunately for the Indians, already slightly behind in the game, their next boundary did not follow for almost three overs – during which time Chahal took his two wickets.

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