Shreyas Gopal bamboozled struggling Royal Challengers Bangalore and Jos Buttler blasted a half-century as Rajasthan Royals got up and running in the Indian Premier League with a seven-wicket win.

There was more misery for Virat Kohli in his 100th game as RCB captain at Sawai Mansingh Stadium, where his side could only post 158-4 after Gopal took 3-12 from his four overs on Tuesday.

Gopal doubled his wicket tally for the tournament with a brilliant leg-spinning exhibition, dismissing Kohli, AB de Villiers and Shimron Hetmyer.

Parthiv Patel top scored with 67 from 41 balls for Bangalore, who were thrashed by Sunrisers Hyderabad on Sunday, but his first half-century of the 2019 IPL was not enough to prevent his side from being the only team without a victory.

The Royals, missing Sanju Samson due to a niggle, sealed their first two points after Buttler smashed 59 from 43 balls.

Yuzvendra Chahal (2-17) gave RCB hope, but Steve Smith made 38 and Rahul Tripathi capitalised on being dropped early in his innings to score an unbeaten 34, hitting a six to win it off the penultimate ball.

GOPAL PUTS RCB IN A SPIN

Kohli moved up to open for the second time in the tournament, but the skipper missed out in his landmark match as skipper.

Parthiv and Kohli put on 49 before Gopal claimed the huge wicket of the mercurial India captain, who was flummoxed by a ripper of a googly and bowled through the gate for 23.

De Villiers was caught and bowled in the tweaker's next over and he had a third wicket when Hetmyer was caught behind, reducing RCB to 73-3 midway through their innings.

It was left for Parthiv - who struck a six and nine fours - to lay the platform for a late flurry from debutant Marcus Stoinis (31 not out from 28) and Moeen Ali (18no off 9)

 

BUTTLER SERVES UP ANOTHER TREAT

Buttler failed twice after he was the victim of a Ravichandran Ashwin 'Mankad' but he was back in the groove at the top of the order.

The explosive wicketkeeper-batsman struck Navdeep Saini for back-to-back boundaries after Ajinkya Rahane was dropped by Kohli in the second over and did the same to Stoinis in his first over for his new franchise.

Buttler continued to rocket along, reaching his half-century from 38 balls with a glorious straight drive off England team-mate Moeen, who he also pulled for six before he struck the crafty Chahal - who also removed Rahane - to Stoinis at long-off.

 

RAHUL ENSURES RCB TRIP UP AGAIN

Smith was not at his fluent best, but used his experience to rotate the strike and score at over a run a ball.

Chahal should have had a third wicket when Umesh Yadav dropped Tripathi in the deep on nine before Smith hammered Mohammed Siraj for six. 

Smith fell off the final ball of the 19th over from Siraj, but with only five needed from the last over, Tripathi hooked Yadav over the ropes to win it in emphatic fashion.

Jos Buttler and Eoin Morgan bludgeoned scintillating centuries as England hit a record 24 sixes to post their third-highest one-day international total against West Indies in Grenada. 

West Indies captain Jason Holder must have been questioning his decision to field first as the tourists made a blistering start at St George's in the fourth match of the series. 

Jonny Bairstow (56) and Alex Hales (82) laid the platform with a century stand in only 13.5 overs before Buttler and Morgan - who became the first England player to reach 6,000 ODI runs - dished out brutal treatment. 

Buttler made his highest one-day score as he smashed his way to 150 from only 77 balls, clearing the ropes 12 times and also hitting 13 fours, his boundary blitz helping him go from 50 to 100 in only 15 deliveries. 

Morgan also put on a show - making 103 - as the captain and Buttler put on 204 for the fourth wicket in just 20.2 overs, with England going past 400 for the fourth time in the 50-over format. 

England took 154 off last 10 overs as they eye a 2-1 lead with one match remaining, Buttler fittingly breaking the world record for maximums in an innings - set by their opponents in the first ODI in Barbados - when he smashed Carlos Brathwaite over deep midwicket in the final over. 

Skipper Holder was taken for 88 from seven overs, while leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo did not return to the attack after going for 43 from four overs. 

Dawid Malan and Sam Billings will replace the rested Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler for England's Twenty20 series against West Indies, while Jason Roy will also miss the three matches as he returns home for the birth of his first child.

Roy made a spectacular 123 on Wednesday as England chased down a target of 361 with remarkable ease in the first of five one-day internationals against the Windies.

However, the opener will fly back to the UK after the final ODI, while Stokes and Buttler will be given a brief break ahead of a hectic period featuring the Cricket World Cup and a home Ashes series.

Malan and Billings are the beneficiaries of that decision, both men returning to England's squad for the first time since the tour of Australia and New Zealand in early 2018.

In quotes reported by the Guardian, national selector Ed Smith rubbished suggestions the move to rest Stokes and Buttler was linked to their upcoming participation in the Indian Premier League.

"That's not the case. I have not favoured franchise cricket over internationals," he said. "The strong recommendation of the head coach [Trevor Bayliss] was that he would like to rest these two players and I said, 'that’s fine by me'.

"There's an incredible period of cricket coming up … I would view it as an unusual set of circumstances and as us responding to them in the best possible interests of English cricket."

St Lucia will host the opening T20 between West Indies and England on March 4, before two subsequent contests in Saint Kitts and Nevis.

 

England T20 squad: Eoin Morgan (captain), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Sam Billings, Tom Curran, Joe Denly, Alex Hales, Chris Jordan, Dawid Malan, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, David Willey, Mark Wood.

Ben Stokes made the most of a remarkable second chance as his unbeaten 62 inspired England's fightback on day one of the third and final Test against West Indies in St Lucia on Saturday.

The all-rounder had reached 52 when he clubbed a return catch to Alzarri Joseph and was all the way back in the dressing room when replays revealed the bowler had over-stepped.

Stokes returned to the fray - switching places with Jonny Bairstow, who had been on his way out to the middle - and along with Jos Buttler (67 not out), guided the tourists to 231-4 at stumps at the Darren Sammy National Stadium.

That represented an impressive recovery from England, who, at 2-0 down in the series and having been put into bat, were toiling badly once again at 107-4 when captain Joe Root was dismissed in soft fashion for 15 shortly before tea.

But Stokes and Buttler came together for an unbroken fifth-wicket stand of 124 as two of England's traditionally aggressive batsmen, perhaps in light of recent criticism of the side's approach, reined in their natural game to guide their team to a strong position.

England recalled Keaton Jennings after he was dropped for the 10-wicket defeat in Antigua, but it was an unhappy return for the opener, who ought to have been out twice before he was removed for a painstaking eight from 43 balls.

West Indies opted not to review when he was trapped in front by Kemar Roach, whose anguish was increased two balls later when Roston Chase dropped a chance at slip.

But the introduction of Keemo Paul - replacing suspended captain Jason Holder - paid immediate dividends as Jennings drove loosely at his first delivery and nicked off.

Paul struck again soon after lunch, Rory Burns falling plumb lbw for 29 to a ball that was crashing into the middle of middle - the Windies needing a review to overturn umpire Kumar Dharmasena's not-out call. 

Joe Denly (20) fell in the next over, pinned by Shannon Gabriel, and England were in strife when Root wafted at a wide ball from Joseph and nicked behind.

Stokes survived an lbw shout on umpire's call early in his innings before he and Buttler set about mounting a recovery, bringing up their respective fifties from 84 and 94 deliveries.

Between those milestones, it looked as though their union had been ended by Joseph's superb catch in his follow-through, only for Stokes to be called back to the middle - a welcome rub of the green for an England side that has been a distant second-best in this series.

West Indies captain Jason Holder was ecstatic after scoring a stunning double century against England in the first Test.

Holder made an unbeaten 202 as the Windies took complete control in Bridgetown on Friday, setting England 628 for victory.

The all-rounder was predictably delighted with his highest Test score, with the tourists reaching 56-0 – needing another 572 runs – at stumps on day three.

"To score a double hundred in front of your home crowd is a very pleasing feeling," Holder said.

"I was ecstatic. It was a dream come true. My friends and family were here to enjoy it, as I really wanted to achieve this from the very start of my career."

England were left in huge trouble in the Test after being bowled out for 77 in response to the Windies' 289 in the first innings.

Jos Buttler said his side had been given a "reality check" during the series opener.

"With the bat we have fallen well below [expectations]. Our aim is to be the number one side in the world and that was nowhere near good enough," he said.

"We have had a good run of games, but when playing abroad it is about adapting to conditions.

"We have to be better at coming through tough situations when guys are bowling well. It is a good reality check as a side about where we are at."

Rory Burns (39) and Keaton Jennings (11) will resume for England on day four.

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