IPL

Tough day for Alzarri Joseph as Buttler helps deliver much-needed win for Royals

By Sports Desk April 13, 2019

Rajasthan Royals threatened to waste a Jos Buttler batting masterclass before limping to a four-wicket win over Mumbai Indians on Saturday.

Quinton de Kock made 81 and Rohit Sharma 47 as Mumbai posted 187-5 at the Wankhede Stadium, a score that looked competitive until Buttler fired in Rajasthan's reply, smashing 89 from just 43 deliveries.

The England international allowed opening partner Ajinkya Rahane to do the early damage but the departure of his captain, caught for 37 when sweeping Krunal Pandya out to deep square leg, led to Buttler changing gears.

Alzarri Joseph suffered at the hands of the right-hander, conceding 28 runs in one over as the Royals' equation suddenly dropped to a run-a-ball rate.

Yet they made hard work of completing the job, losing four wickets in a hurry to give Mumbai hope before Shreyas Gopal got his side home with three balls to spare with a boundary off Hardik Pandya.

The Royals - who were without the injured Ben Stokes - eventually picked up just their second victory of the campaign, with Mumbai missing out on the chance to leapfrog over Kolkata Knight Riders into second place in the table.

 

A WEEK IS A LONG TIME IN THE IPL...

On April 6, Joseph claimed 6-12 on his Mumbai debut, the best bowling figures in the history of the Indian Premier League.

A week on from his record-breaking start in the competition, the West Indies paceman had a vastly different Twenty20 experience. His three overs in the game went for 53 runs, with Buttler ruining his figures.

The right-hander book-ended a pair of maximums with a quartet of fours in Joseph's last over, the bowler unable to find a way to stem the flow of boundaries despite changes in both his pace and length.

Buttler's quest to hit a seventh successive boundary resulted in his downfall, however, as he only picked out long on when trying to deposit Rahul Chahar over the rope.

 

FAST START, POWERFUL FINISH FOR MUMBAI

Rohit and De Kock shared an opening stand worth 96 for the home team, with the former back leading the team again after missing the victory over Kings XI Punjab due to injury.

South African De Kock hit four maximums before falling to Jofra Archer, who finished with figures of 3-39.

However, his departure set the scene for a late cameo from Hardik Pandya, the India all-rounder belting three sixes as he contributed an unbeaten 28 from just 11 deliveries.

His onslaught gave Mumbai a much-needed lift in the closing overs, though Buttler's belligerent hitting meant it was the Royals who came out on top in the end.

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    The opening batsman's explosive 16th ODI hundred was Australia's second-highest individual World Cup score - Warner having also posted the biggest of 178 versus Afghanistan four years ago.

    Usman Khawaja (89) returned to form after Aaron Finch struck 53, with Soumya Sarkar taking 3-58 as the holders put 381-5 on the board in another Nottingham run-fest.

    Mushfiqur Rahim (102 not out) made a brilliant first World Cup century and there were half-centuries for Tamim Iqbal (62) and Mahmudullah (69), yet Bangladesh were unable to pull off a repeat of their huge successful run-chase against West Indies on Monday.

    The Tigers did post their highest ODI score of 333-8, but they nevertheless suffered a defeat that strikes a major blow to their hopes of reaching the last four as Australia went top of the table.

     

    IMPERIOUS WARNER PUNISHES SABBIR

    Sabbir was brought in to make his first appearance of the tournament as one of two changes to the Tigers side and he did not get off to the best of starts, putting Warner down at backward point before he had got going.

    The left-hander made him pay in brutal fashion after biding his time, slog-sweeping Shakib Al Hasan for a massive six and bringing up his half-century in 55 balls.

    Warner then accelerated with a magnificent combination of power and improvisation following Finch's exit, clearing the ropes five times and putting on 192 for the second wicket with Khawaja, who passed 50 for the first time in the tournament.

     

    MUSHFIQUR AND MAHMUDULLAH PROVIDE RESISTANCE

    Glenn Maxwell (32 from 10) also did some late damage after Warner and Khawaja had been dismissed by Soumya, who missed out with the bat when he was run out by Finch following a big mix-up.

    The fit-again Marcus Stoinis (2-54) claimed the big wicket of the in-form Shakib (41) and the Tigers were 144-3 almost halfway through their innings when Tamim chopped on.

    Mitchell Starc rattled Liton Das on the helmet straight after ending Tamim's knock and the number five was on his way after being trapped in front by Adam Zampa, but Mushfiqur and Mahmudullah made a game of it.

     

    STARC AND AUSTRALIA RISE TO THE SUMMIT

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    Starc (2-55) became the top wicket-taker in the tournament and, although the excellent Mushfiqur reached three figures in the penultimate over, Australia comfortably made it five wins out of six.

  • England v Sri Lanka: Hosts looking to power on from Morgan masterclass England v Sri Lanka: Hosts looking to power on from Morgan masterclass

    Hosts England will aim to continue a dominant run of form when they welcome Sri Lanka to Headingley in the Cricket World Cup on Friday.

    Captain Eoin Morgan bludgeoned an astonishing 148 against Afghanistan at Old Trafford last time out, including an ODI record of 17 sixes in an innings – the lion's share of 25 maximums from England, which also represented a format best.

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    After an eventually commanding 104-run win over South Africa in the tournament opener and a thrilling loss to Pakistan, England's three consecutive victories have featured huge totals against Bangladesh and Afghanistan either side of swatting West Indies aside. Morgan's men are hitting the dominant form that made them favourites for glory.

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    WHAT THEY SAID

    England all-rounder Moeen: "Obviously, it means a lot. To play 100 games for England, ODI games, it's a dream. I never thought in my wildest dreams that I would get close to it so it's an amazing feeling."

    Sri Lanka captain Karunaratne: "England is the best batting line-up against the spinners in the world. If you take the Asian countries, I think England are playing [spin] even better than them. We know that we need to restrict them to less than 300, we have a couple of plans against the batsmen and we will try to use them in the middle."

    OPTA FACTS

    - After enjoying a six-match winning streak versus Sri Lanka in ODIs, England lost by 219 runs on the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method the last time the sides met in October 2018.
    - England and Sri Lanka have two wins apiece in ODIs they have contested at Headingley, although the Lions have won the previous two in 2006 and 2011.
    - Joe Root will play before an adoring Yorkshire public having scored fifty or more in five of his past six ODI knocks, including two centuries.

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