MUMBAI: Riding on Jos Buttler’s third ton of the season, Rajasthan Royals on Friday defeated Delhi Capitals by 15 runs to register their fifth win, out of seven matches, of the Indian Premier League 2022. They are now at the top of the Points Table.
Only Virat Kohli (4 tons in 2016) has scored more hundreds than Buttler in an IPL season.
Buttler got off to a streaky start as an outside edge from his bat flew above slips in the first over bowled by left-arm medium-pacer Khaleel Ahmed. Left-hand batsman Devdutt Paddikal was also lucky as an edge went over slips off Shardul Thakur’s bowling in the 4th over.
Buttler got in the groove in the 6th over as he clouted Khaleel for two sixes over deep mid-wicket. He smote the biggest six of his innings inh the 10th over off Thakur. He reached his half-century by unfurling a cracking drive off Lalit Yadav in the 11th over of the innings.
Paddikal also played a string of attractive shots as he thumped left-arm spinner Kuldeep Yadav for a massive six in the 8th over over deep mid-wicket. He brought up his fifty by deftly cutting Axar Patel for a boundary in the 14th over. He was finally trapped in front of the stumps by Khaleel in the 16th over but not before he had added 155 runs with Buttler for the first wicket.
Buttler, on the other hand, remained completely unruffled as he clubbed Kuldeep for two more sixes in the 15th over. In the next over, he reached his hundred by turning a ball from Khaleel to mid-wicket.
Rajasthan captain Sanju Samson also went on the rampage in the last four years as he cut and slashed with abandon. On the last ball of the innings, he hammered Thakur for a six over deep square to propel Rajasthan to 222-2 in 20 overs, which is the highest score by any team in the IPL 2022 so far.
Chasing 223, a host of Delhi bastmen played sparkling cameos but no one kicked on and produced a big innings. Openers David Warner and Prithvi Shaw displayed a range of shots in the first few overs until Warner was snared by the pacer Prasidh Krishna in the 5th over.
Shaw uncorked a slew of pulls and drives during his spirited cameo and kept Delhi in the hunt till the 10th over. He falling to the off-spinner R Ashwin in the 10th over triggered the slide. Captain Rishabh Pant and Lalit Yadav pulled out all the stops but were removed by rampaging Krishna. The pacer turned in a fantastic spell as he snaffled three crucial wickets and conceded just 22 runs in 4 overs.
In the last over, Rovmann Powell smashed Obed McCoy for three sixes on the first three balls. In fact, Delhi captain Pant wasn’t happy that the umpire didn’t declare the 4th delivery as a no-ball for height. He showed his displeasure and sent his team’s coach Praveen Amre onto the field in protest before the tension was assuaged. In the end, Delhi fell short by 15 runs and managed 207-8 in 20 overs.
Delhi’s captain Pant said he is disappointed that the 4th delivery of the 20th over wasn’t called a no-ball.
“I thought that no-ball could have been precious for us but it is not in my control. Yes, I’m disappointed but can’t do much about it. I think the third umpire should have interfered and said it was a no-ball,” he firmly stated.
“Obviously it wasn’t right (sending coach Praveen Amre onto the field) but what happened with us is also not right. It happened in the heat of the moment. It was the fault from both sides and it is disappointing as we have seen some good umpiring in the tournament,” he added.
The Man of the Match Buttler said he is going through the best form of his life. “It was a special knock and I enjoyed it. I love this stadium. It was a fantastic atmosphere I am enjoying the best form of my life and I need to continue with this form all the way through. We managed to build such good partnerships. Devdutt played well from the other end, and we decided to attack and put the pressure back on Delhi. The wickets may change as there are going to be used wickets with only four grounds in the tournament,” he stated.
Do visit www.newindian.in for exclusive video stories from hinterlands of India.