IPL

RCB rally to rock Royals after another blistering Buttler knock

By Sports Desk April 05, 2022

Royal Challengers Bangalore roared back to hand Rajasthan Royals their first defeat of the 2022 Indian Premier League by four wickets.

RCB's hopes of victory looked to have escaped them when they allowed Jos Buttler to put on another batting masterclass after his second IPL hundred – and the only century of this year's tournament so far – in the Royals' previous match against Mumbai Indians.

Buttler recovered from a slow start to score an unbeaten 70, ramping up the run rate over a final two overs in which he hit four sixes and Shimron Hetmyer (42 not out) added another.

Their unbroken partnership of 83 off 42 concluded the Royals' innings on 169-3, which looked a solid total at the midway stage of RCB's reply.

Faf du Plessis had been limited to 29, while Virat Kohli was run out, but RCB had enough batting talent remaining further down the order to reach 173-6 with five balls to spare.

A crucial 33-ball sixth-wicket stand of 67 between Shahbaz Ahmed (45) and Dinesh Karthik turned the tide, with the wicketkeeper-batsman sticking around to make 44 not out and complete the job alongside Harshal Patel (nine not out).

Buttler brilliance in vain

Explaining his performance against the Indians, when he bludgeoned 26 runs in the fourth over alone, Buttler said ahead of this match: "You are always looking for that one over that you can really target and go for."

Indeed, his had been just the second IPL century with a dot ball percentage of more than 40; failing to score off 41 per cent of the deliveries he faced, but doing the damage with big boundaries.

Although Buttler did not get off to the same strong start on Tuesday, it was a similar story again as over half of his runs came off six balls. Unsurprisingly, he regained the outright season lead in the IPL with 205 runs.

RCB retain hold over Royals

This was a fifth consecutive RCB win against the Royals; representing Rajasthan's longest active losing streak against any opposition.

It is a particularly painful defeat for the Royals, too, having looked on course to continue a winning start to the season, until bowing under RCB's own barrage of boundaries.

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