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Buttler Shines in his 100th IPL Match as Royals Beat RCB

Through his brilliant knock, Buttler has also become only the second batter to score a 100 in his 100th IPL match…reports Asian Lite News

Opener Jos Buttler announced his return to form in his 100th IPL match with a magnificent 58-ball century as he outshined Virat Kohli’s ton to help Rajasthan Royals make it four wins from four matches at IPL 2024 after beating Royal Challengers Bengaluru by six wickets at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium.

After Kohli brought out his vintage self to slam his eighth IPL century and ninth overall in T20 cricket via 113 not out off 72 balls to lift RCB to a competitive 183/3, Buttler weathered the early storm and then brought out the attacking play to perfection to hit exactly 100 runs off 58 balls, laced with nine fours and four sixes, in what was his sixth IPL century.

Through his brilliant knock, Buttler has also become only the second batter to score a 100 in his 100th IPL match, after K.L. Rahul. On a pitch where stroke play got better as the game progressed, Buttler was also well-supported by captain Sanju Samson making 69 off 42 balls as RR completed the chase with five balls to spare and was now on top of the points table.

It was the same old story for RCB, who lacked penetration with the ball and barring Reece Topley, the rest failed to put up a performance of note for the visitors. RR didn’t have an ideal start to the chase of 184 as Yashasvi Jaiswal pulled a short ball from Reece Topley to mid-off, falling for a two-ball duck.

Samson got going with three boundaries, before Buttler scooped a four over Dinesh Karthik’s head, followed by surviving a tough chance and surviving a run-out attempt in the fourth over bowled by Mohammed Siraj.

Buttler followed it up by hitting two off-side boundaries off Yash Dayal and proceeded to smack left-arm spinner Mayank Dagar for three fours and a six in an 18-run over as RR made 54/1 in six overs at the end of power-play.

Samson pulled leg-spinner Himanshu Sharma twice for fours, one of which Kohli couldn’t catch at mid-wicket. Buttler drove one on the up off Cameron Green, before reaching his fifty in 30 balls. Samson wowed everyone with an upper cut six off Siraj, before hitting two fours and a maximum off Dagar to reach his second fifty of the season in 33 balls.

Whenever RCB’s spinners missed their lengths, along with dew coming into play, Buttler and Samson were quick to dispatch it for boundaries. Buttler was impeccable with his timing -– seen from him flat-batting a slower short ball from Dayal over leaping long-off and then using the width from Topley to steer using his wrists for piercing the gap between backward point and deep cover point.

The 148-run partnership fell when Samson couldn’t time the pull well off Siraj and was caught at deep backward square leg. Though Riyan Parag and Dhruv Jurel fell in quick succession, Buttler and Shimron Hetmyer knocked off the remaining runs, with the former swivelling a six to the left of deep square leg to get his century and give RR a thrilling win in front of its faithful home fans.

Earlier, Kohli was pristine in hitting 12 fours and four sixes in his unbeaten 113, which is also his third century in his last seven IPL innings to level his highest score in the competition. He went hard in scoring against pace, making 67 off 39 balls while accumulating 46 off 33 balls against spin.

Kohli hit almost 62% runs of RCB’s total, while the rest of the batters made 59 runs from 48 balls. Interestingly, Kohli’s 67-ball ton is the joint-slowest century in IPL, levelling with a hundred made by Manish Pandey in same number of balls against DC in 2009.

Pushed into batting first, Kohli and Faf du Plessis hit four boundaries to help RCB amass 29/0 in three overs. Kohli hit the first six of the game by handsomely pulling Nandre Burger before du Plessis thumped a four over his head. The duo brought up the fifty of the opening stand in the sixth over to finish the powerplay at 53/0.

After Kohli became the first batter to breach the 7,500-run mark in IPL’s history, du Plessis launched a brace of sixes on short balls from Trent Boult to take 16 runs off the ninth over. Kohli whipped a Yuzvendra Chahal delivery for a six in the tenth over, followed by reaching his fifty when he hammered Riyan Parag for a six down the ground.

The century stand between Kohli and du Plessis was achieved in 11.2 overs, before the former got a life at 67 when Burger dropped a chance at point off Chahal. A few balls later, Boult dropped a regulation catch of du Plessis at cover to give the batter a second life on 42 off Chahal.

But du Plessis couldn’t capitalise on the reprieve as he holed out to long-on for 44 off 33 balls off the leg-spinner, followed by Burger rattling Glenn Maxwell’s stumps and Chahal taking out debutant Saurabh Chauhan.

Kohli signalled taking an acceleration route by smacking Avesh for three fours, before slog sweeping Chahal for six. He reached his century in 67 balls with a single to long-on off a low full toss from Burger. Kohli took three fours off Avesh in the final over and walked off to a standing ovation from his RCB teammates, as the visitors made 54 runs off the last five overs.

Brief scores:

Royal Challengers Bengaluru 183/3 in 20 overs (Virat Kohli 113 not out, Faf du Plessis 44; Yuzvendra Chahal 2-34, Nandre Burger 1-33) lost to Rajasthan Royals 189/4 in 19.1 overs (Jos Buttler 100 not out, Sanju Samson 69; Reece Topley 2-27, Mohammed Siraj 1-35) by six wickets

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