NAVI MUMBAI: A superstar showed off his latest blockbuster even as a star was born in Game 9 of IPL-2022 at the DY Patil Stadium here on Saturday.
Looking determined to prove a point after the English selectors dropped him for the Test series in the West Indies recently, Jos Buttler smashed a typically breathtaking 100 (68b; 114, 5×6), the first century of this IPL season, besides taking two catches to power Rajasthan Royals to a 23-run victory over Mumbai Indians. The catch to send back Daniel Sams, in which Buttler ran from cover to mid-off before diving, was a screamer.
AS IT HAPPENED
It wasn’t just a Buttler show, though. The thrilling, fast-paced game also saw a hitherto unknown 19-year-old MI batsman called Tilak Varma, playing just his second IPL game, take the tournament by storm with a free-spirited 33ball 61, which included three fours and five towering sixes. Along with Lucknow’s Ayush Badoni, Varma, who has played for India U-19s, is the second Indian young turk to light up the league.
As long as Varma and ‘pocket rocket’ Ishan Kishan, who scored his second consecutive half-century (54; 43b, 5×4, 1×6) were at the crease during their 81run partnership for the third wicket in just 54 balls, MI looked on course to chase down 194. However, once Kishan was caught by a tumbling Navdeep Saini at deep square leg off Trent Boult, the wheels came off the chase as they lost four wickets for 15 runs in 14 balls.
The stars of the show with the ball for the Royals were their classy spinners Yuzvendra Chahal, who, after scalping Tim David and Daniel Sams off consecutive balls, was unlucky to miss out on a hat-trick.
Veteran off-spinner Ashwin castled Varma with a beauty before giving the youngster a ‘send-off’ which reflected RR’s frustration and relief at finally stopping the Hyderabad boy from running away with the game.
The Royals, having won both their games so far, are looking like the team to beat this season.
Great team victory @rajasthanroyals 💖 https://t.co/sKZ5LfhLNW
— Sanju Samson (@IamSanjuSamson) 1648913557000
The defeat just confirmed MI’s reputation of being the IPL’s perennial slow starters. Seamer Basil Thampi was hit for three sixes and two fours in a 26-run fourth over by a rampaging Buttler, who used his bat more like a golfer swinging his club.
Thampi didn’t bowl again, which meant Kieron Pollard, who was tonked for 26 in one over by the raging Shimron Hetmyer (35; 14b, 3×4, 3×6), bowled four overs which went for 46.
In Pics, IPL 2022, Match 9: Ton-up Jos Buttler powers RR to 23-run win over MI
<p>Jos Buttler smashed the first century of IPL 2022 to power Rajasthan Royals to 23-run win over five-time champions Mumbai Indians, who slumped to their second consecutive defeat on Saturday. (Image credit: BCCI/IPL)<br /></p>