Ravichandran Ashwin blasted an unbeaten 40 as Rajasthan Royals secured a top-two finish in the Indian Premier League with a dramatic five-wicket win over Chennai Super Kings.

Moeen Ali breezed to a 19-ball half-century as the Super Kings raced to 75-1 at the end of the powerplay, but they did not capitalise on their early impetus in Mumbai on Friday.

Spinners Yuzvendra Chahal (2-26) and Obed McCoy (2-20) were the pick of the bowlers to peg back Chennai, with MS Dhoni (26) the only other batter to pass 20 in support of Ali (93) in the Super Kings' 150-6.

Jos Buttler fell for just two to Simarjeet Singh (1-18) in response, before Sanju Samson (15) followed to Mitchell Santner (1-15) and Ali bowled Devdutt Padikkal (3) to leave the Royals 76-3 in the 12th over.

Opener Yashasvi Jaiswal batted on as his partners fell, making 59 off 44 balls before being dismissed by Prashant Solanki, with Rajasthan requiring a further 47 to win from the last five overs.

Solanki soon added the dangerous Shimron Hetmyer (6) to his list of scalps, but Ashwin – promoted up the order – took charge of the chase to see his side over the line with two balls to spare.

Victory meant Rajasthan will have two chances in the playoffs to make the final on May 29. Lucknow Super Giants must settle for third place.

Ali efforts in vain

All eyes were on Buttler, who leads the run charts with 629 in this year's IPL, but it was England team-mate Ali who delivered a scintillating performance at the Brabourne Stadium.

The 34-year-old fell in the final over just seven short of a century after a tremendous 57-ball innings that included 13 fours and three sixes.

He then superbly posted figures of 1-21 with the ball from his four-over allocation – but his efforts ultimately proved in vain, with Ashwin's 40 from 23 proving decisive.

Chahal equals spin record

Chahal once again edged ahead of Royal Challengers Bangalore's Wanindu Hasaranga in the battle to be the competition's top wicket-taker.

The Royals' leg-spinner picked up two wickets, while going at just 6.5 an over, and equalled Imran Tahir's tally of 26 (in 2019) for the most wickets by a spinner in a single IPL season.

Rajasthan Royals moved up to second in the Indian Premier League and are on the brink of sealing a play-off place after a 24-run defeat of Lucknow Super Giants.

Lucknow knew a win at the Brabourne Stadium on Sunday would secure a top-four finish with one game to spare, but they slipped below the Royals into third spot.

Yashasvi Jaiswal top-scored with 41 in Rajasthan's total of 178-6 in Mumbai, with Ravi Bishnoi taking 2-31.

Deepak Hooda's 59 was in vain as Lucknow could only make 154-8 in reply, Trent Boult the pick of the bowlers with 2-18 as the Royals took a big stride towards the play-offs.

Avesh Khan struck a big early blow when he bowled Rajasthan's Jos Buttler in the third over, but Jaiswal and Sanju Samson (32) put on 64 for the second wicket before the captain fell to Jason Holder.

Jaiswal was caught and bowled in Ayush Badoni's only over, but Devdut Padikkal kept Rajasthan ticking with a couple of sixes and five fours.

Bishnoi (2-31) denied Padikkal the chance of a half-century, dismissing him for 39, and also removed Riyan Parag, but Boult added a quickfire unbeaten 17 after Jimmy Neesham was run out.

Neesham, playing his second match of the tournament, took a catch for his New Zealand team-mate Boult to claim the scalp of Quinton de Kock in the third over of the run chase and the left-arm seamer also trapped Badoni leg before first ball.

Lucknow were 29-3 when Prasidh Krishna (2-32) sent KL Rahul packing, but a stand of 65 between Hooda and Krunal Pandya kept them in the game.

Ravichandran Ashwin ended the partnership by sending Pandya on his way for 25, and Hooda was stumped off the bowling of Yuzvendra Chahal, while Obed McCoy claimed 2-35 in a big win for the Royals.

Brilliant Boult strikes twice

Boult made it advantage the Royals when he took two early wickets in as many balls, preventing De Kock from doing damage and snaring Badoni for a golden duck.

He bowled 14 dot balls in his four overs and conceded only two boundaries, leaving the Super Giants up against it.

Three play-off spots still up for grabs

Gujarat Titans are the only side guaranteed a play-off place as the battle for top-four finishes goes to the wire.

The Royals do battle with Chennai Super Kings in their last game of the league season, while Lucknow must regroup before facing Kolkata Knight Riders.

Delhi Capitals remain in Indian Premier League playoff contention after Mitchell Marsh and David Warner powered them to an eight-wicket victory against Rajasthan Royals.

The Royals had won all four of their previous IPL meetings with Delhi in Mumbai, but their opponents had no trouble in chasing down a target of 161 for a crucial victory.

That is despite losing opener KS Bharat on a duck off the second ball, with Australian duo Marsh and Warner sharing a 144-run stand to pave the way for a successful chase. 

Rishabh Pant also contributed 13 runs after Marsh (89) was caught by Kuldeep Sen in the 19th over, allowing Warner (52 not out) to score the winning runs with 11 balls to spare.

Ravichandran Ashwin had earlier hit a maiden IPL fifty, while Devdutt Padikkal chipped in with 48, but the Royals could only muster 160-6 from their 20 overs.

Chetan Sakariya starred with the ball for the Capitals with figures of 2-23, while Marsh and Anrich Nortje also took a couple of wickets each.

Oz delight for Delhi

Marsh's blistering knock of 89 was his highest in the IPL, consisting of seven sixes and five fours.

Warner also impressed with his 52 runs, meaning he has now registered 50-or-more runs on 30 occasions – eight more than next best Shikhar Dhawan.

Royals outclassed

Only against Punjab Kings (14) have the Royals won more IPL games than they have against the Capitals (13), yet they were easily second best on Wednesday.

Instead of tightening their hold on a top-four spot, they are now just two points ahead of fifth-placed Delhi and still have work to do if they are to reach the play-offs.

West Indian left-hander Shimron Hetmyer has left the Rajasthan Royals in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) to return home to Guyana for the birth of his first child.

"My stuff is still left in the room," the 25-year-old said in an interview, indicating that he will be returning to India to see out the rest of the IPL.

Royals are in third place and are looking like one of the better placed teams to make the playoffs which are set to begin on May 24.

However, the player has not made himself available for the West Indies white-ball tours of the Netherlands and Pakistan starting later this month.

Hetmyer left Mumbai on Sunday morning on the back of another high-impact cameo - 31 not out off 16 balls against Punjab Kings that helped seal a chase of 190.

 

Yashasvi Jaiswal scored a brisk 68 as Rajasthan Royals returned to winning ways in the Indian Premier League with a six-wicket victory over Punjab Kings.

The Kings slipped to three defeats in their last five games as their playoff credentials came into question, but Mayank Agarwal's side managed to post a competitive 189-5 at the Wankhede Stadium on Friday.

Jonny Bairstow anchored the Punjab innings with 56 from 40 deliveries before being removed by Yuzvendra Chahal (3-28), who also picked up the wickets of Bhanuka Rajapaksa (27) and Agarwal (15).

Liam Livingstone (22) and Jitesh Sharma, who blasted 38 off just 18 balls, provided the Kings with late impetus, but their total seemed insufficient when the in-form Jos Buttler led the early response.

The England international smashed 30 off 16 but was caught off Kagiso Rabada's bowling (1-50), while Jaiswal and Sanju Samson (23) continued the charge before the latter was dismissed by Rishi Dhawan (1-25).

Jaiswal ensured the Royals were firmly in control, requiring a further 49 to win when he departed to Arshdeep Singh (2-29), who also claimed the wicket of Devdutt Padikkal (31) in the final over.

Shimron Hetmyer (31 not out) subsequently saw Rajasthan over the line with two balls to spare as Samson's side ended a two-game losing run to move level on points with second-placed Lucknow Super Giants.

Rejuvenated Jaiswal

Jaiswal mustered just 25 runs across his first three innings in the IPL this season, and was dropped after a poor run in which he produced scores of 20, one and four.

However, he made his mark on his return to the Royals XI as he produced his top score in the competition with his 68 against the Kings, which included nine fours and two sixes.

Classy Chahal returns to form

Chahal had struck just twice in four games, leading to concerns over the purple-cap holder's wicket-taking ability in the middle overs.

But the 31-year-old silenced his critics in emphatic fashion, picking up three important wickets after the powerplay, while bowling 10 dot balls as he went for just seven runs per over.

The Kolkata Knight Riders ended a run of five consecutive losses in the Indian Premier League, with Nitish Rana and Rinku Singh impressing as they chased down the Rajasthan Royals for a seven-wicket win.

The Royals set a below-par target of 152-5 after top-order batsmen Jos Buttler (22) and Devdutt Padikkal (2) struggled to make headway early on, although captain Sanju Samson's half-century dragged them into contention.

Although Kolkata's own top-order fared little better as Baba Indrajith (15) and Aaron Finch (4) succumbed to early dismissals, Rana (48) and Rinku (42) fell narrowly short of half-centuries to end the Knight Riders' dire form.

Despite Samson's haul, the Royals have now fallen to back-to-back IPL defeats, missing the chance to go second in the standings with four matches remaining. 

Having won four of their last five coming into the contest, the Royals were put in to bat after Kolkata skipper Shreyas Iyer won the toss, and made a nightmare start when losing Padikkal for just two runs.

Things went from bad to worse when Buttler, the IPL's leading batsman with 566 runs prior to Monday, was caught by Shivam Mavi for just 22, way down on his season average, in the ninth over.

Samson put in a talismanic captain's performance as his knock of 54 put the Royals in contention, but was caught by Rinku in the 18th over after Karun Nair (13) and Riyan Parag (19) were also sent packing.

The Knight Riders did not have it all their own way immediately when taking up the bat, losing Indrajith and Finch to Prasidh Krishna and Kuldeep Sen before the sixth over was through in a flat start.

However, Iyer's 34 set the tone for a vast improvement in the second half of Kolkata's innings, with Rana and Rinku's outstanding partnership leading them to what proved to be a routine win as the Royals paid the price for their errors with the bat.

Below-par Buttler sets the tone

Buttler has been key to the Royals' hopes after averaging 65.33 this season, hitting a magnificent century in a crushing win over the Delhi Capitals less than two weeks ago.

However, his dismissal at the ends of Tim Southee set the tone for a miserable outing for Buttler's side, with Southee adding the wicket of Parag in the 17th as Kolkata clinched a crucial victory.

Rana and Rinku combine in style

A five-match losing streak had left Kolkata stranded near the bottom of the IPL table, but Rana and Rinku combined for 90 in a brilliantly efficient display to drag the Knight Riders to an important win and lift them to seventh in the standings, within four points of the Royals.

Daniel Sams blasted his first ball for six in the final over to finally give Mumbai Indians a first Indian Premier League win of the season over Rajasthan Royals on Rohit Sharma's birthday.

Mumbai had lost all eight games, but finally got up and running with a five-wicket victory at the DY Patil Stadium on Saturday.

Run machine Jos Buttler yet again top scored with 67 off 52 balls as the second-placed Royals posted 158-6 and that was not enough to consign the Indians to another defeat.

Suryakumar Yadav (51 from 39) laid the platform for the win and with four needed from the last over, Sams stepped up to win it on captain Rohit's 35th birthday after Kieron Pollard fell to Kuldeep Sen.

Hrithik Shokeen claimed the early wicket of Devdutt Padikkal and the Royals were 54-2 in the eight over when Sanju Samson departed.

Buttler had only 28 off as many balls halfway through Rajasthan's innings and Daryl Mitchell was also unable to get into full flow before he was removed by Sams.

The powerful Buttler had not struck a six until he exploded into life in the 16th over, disdainfully dispatching Shokeen over the ropes from four successive deliveries before he was caught in the deep off the last ball of that over.

Ravichandran Ashwin added a brisk 21 before he was dismissed by the impressive Riley Meredith (2-24) and the India spinner claimed the scalp of Rohit for two in the third over of the run chase.

Yadav and Tilak Varma (35) put 81 on for the third wicket, but departed in quick succession to Yuzvendra Chahal and Prasidh Krishna to leave the game in the balance.

The nerves were jangling when Mitchell caught Pollard in the deep from the first ball of the last over, but Sams launched a huge six into the leg side to raise the root and Tim David was unbeaten on 20 off nine balls.

 

Normal service resumed by brilliant Buttler 

It has been an incredible IPL for Buttler, who is comfortably the leading run-scorer in the tournament with 566 at an average of 70.75 with a strike rate of 155.06.

He struggled to get going after making eight against Royal Challengers Bangalore last time out, but brutally took Shokeen part to reach another half-century from 48 balls before departing trying to hit the spinner over the rope for a fifth time in the 16th over.

Yadav a shining light

It has been a nightmare season for Mumbai – the most successful IPL franchise – but Yadav has been a shining light.

While Rohit has been unable to register a half-century in the tournament, Yadav now has three and averages 48.33, sitting sixth on the list of the highest scorers.

West Indies all-rounder Rovman Powell has urged IPL franchise Delhi Capitals to quickly move past the recent no-ball controversy as the team looks to jostle for a position in the playoffs.

In their previous encounter, a 15-run loss to Rajasthan Royals on Friday, the team was left incensed by what they believe was a missed no-ball call in the final over.  Needing an improbable 36 off the final over, Powell kept things interesting when he blasted three straight 6s off international team Obed Mccoy.

The Capitals were convinced the third six was also a waist-high no-ball and as such would have been a free hit, which would have made things even more interesting.  The delivery was, however, not called by the umpires and Mccoy fought back to dismiss Powell.  The incident led to arguments between Delhi players and the umpire, and assistant coach Rajasthan Royals Pravin Amre came onto the field.  In the aftermath, Delhi Capitals captain Rishabh Pant, all-rounder Shardul Thakur and Amre were slapped with heavy fines resulting from the incident, with Amre also given a one-match ban.  With a match upcoming against the Kolkata Knightriders on Wednesday, Powell is looking to move past the incident.

“It’s something that we have to put behind us and put behind us very fast.  We have a lot of upcoming matches and we have no time to sit down and dwell in the past,” Powell said of the incident.

“We have some important games coming up, important games that we have to win to get to the next round of the competition,” he added.

“We are about 6th or 7th in the table that is a good place to be. It’s just for us to climb the ladder and hopefully, we’ll reach our goal, which is the top four.”

Riyan Parag scored an unbeaten 56 and Kuldeep Sen took 4-20 as Rajasthan Royals defeated Royal Challengers Bangalore by 29 runs despite Jos Buttler's struggles. 

Buttler has been in immaculate form in the Indian Premier League, scoring successive centuries in the previous two matches, but he lasted just nine balls in Pune on Tuesday. 

The England international's score of eight included one boundary before he was dismissed by Josh Hazlewood (2-19) in the fifth over. 

Sanju Samson struck an entertaining 27, including three sixes, to get the Royals back on track, though it was Parag who ultimately dragged them through. 

Having anchored the back half of the Royals' innings, Parag let rip in the final over, plundering two sixes and a four to get his side to 144-8. 

Faf du Plessis elected to go with Virat Kohli at the top of the order, but RCB's former captain went for nine in the second over. 

Du Plessis tallied up 23 before he fell to Sen, who had Glenn Maxwell for a golden duck with the next delivery. 

Ravichandran Ashwin (3-17) joined the party, dismissing Rajat Patidar, Suyash Prabhudessai and Shahbaz Ahmed, while Dinesh Karthik was run out. 

Wanindu Hasaranga (18) offered some resistance for RCB, though their hopes of avoiding a second straight defeat ended when Sen wrapped up the tail as Rajasthan went top of the IPL on 12 points. 

Parag takes up the mantle

With Buttler failing to ignite, Parag initially showed great composure before that explosive final over when he reached a 29-ball half-century. Harshal Patel, who took 1-33, was the unlucky bowler, with 18 runs coming from those last six balls. 

More frustration for Kohli

It was another bad day at the office for Kohli, who has failed to reach double figures in five of his nine IPL innings in 2022. Indeed, it was a bad day all round for the Challengers, who could have gone top with a win, with only Du Plessis scoring above 20. 

Jos Buttler blazed a third century of his remarkable season to help Rajasthan Royals get the better of Delhi Capitals in Mumbai.

The English opener cracked 116 from 65 balls in Rajasthan's 222-2, making his highest score of the IPL campaign so far and emphasising his position as the leading run-scorer in the 2022 competition. Despite a late rally, Delhi fell short by making 207-8 in reply, sliding to a 15-run defeat, with the Royals going top of the table.

This was game seven for the Royals and Buttler, and he came up trumps once more, sharing in a first-wicket partnership of 155 with Devdutt Padikkal (54) before captain Sanju Samson (46no) came out firing for the final overs.

Delhi were up against it from the off but had a sniff of a chance when Rishabh Pant began finding all corners of the Wankhede Stadium; however, Pant's departure for 44 from 24 balls in the 12th over meant there was only tenuous hope left.

Prithvi Shaw (37) and David Warner (28) had given Delhi a reasonable enough start but failed to stick around.

Yuzvendra Chahal at deep fine leg dropped Pant early in the 12th over, misreading the flight of the ball, but the batsman fell two deliveries later. Pant got a top edge when looking to pull into the leg side, and Padikkal watched the ball soar high into the night sky before it fell to allow him to take a fine catch.

Lalit Yadav and Rovman Powell showed fight to leave Delhi needing 36 from the final two overs, but Prasidh Krishna (3-22) then had Yadav caught behind in a remarkable wicket maiden. Three sixes by Powell at the start of the 20th over raised hopes of a miracle finale, but Delhi's protests over a possible no-ball killed their own momentum.

Buttler serves up another ton of treats

Man-of-the-moment Buttler came into this season with one century in 65 IPL matches, spread across six years. Now he has four in 72, and on this occasion it took him 36 balls to reach 50 and only 21 more to advance to three figures.

Buttler made a ton against Mumbai Indians in his second game of the season, and followed that knock of exactly 100 with an impressive 103 in his sixth outing, against Kolkata Knight Riders. There were nine fours and nine sixes in this masterpiece by the 31-year-old, and he has 491 runs for the season, 226 more than the next highest scorer in the competition (KL Rahul – 265).

Surreal McCoy

Royals paceman Obed McCoy cost his team 26 runs with a dreadful over that included nine runs given away in extras, five of which came from a wild and head-high no ball that raced away to the boundary. It was probably the worst delivery that will be bowled in this year's IPL, sailing way outside off stump after slipping out of McCoy's hand and landing several yards wide of wicketkeeper Samson.

When McCoy conceded three sixes from the first three balls of the final over, Delhi needed three more maximums for victory, but the paceman avoided further embarrassment.

Jos Buttler joined an elite group of Indian Premier League batsmen with a stunning century as Rajasthan Royals beat Kolkata Knight Riders in an enthralling seven-run win.

Buttler made a mockery of Kolkata's decision to put Rajasthan into bat, hammering a 59-ball century to power the Royals to 217-5.

It was his second hundred of the season, making him only the sixth player to score multiple centuries in a single IPL campaign.

The Knight Riders put together an excellent chase, Aaron Finch (58) and captain Shreyas Iyer (85) putting on 107 for the second wicket.

Yuzvendra Chahal (5-40) looked to have ended their hopes in the 17th over by taking four wickets, the crucial scalp of Shreyas marking the start of a hat-trick, to reduce the Knight Riders to 180-8.

An unlikely batting cameo from Umesh Yadav, who struck 21 off nine, had Kolkata in position to snatch victory, but debutant Obed McCoy removed Sheldon Jackson before bowling Yadav to clinch it for Rajasthan with two balls to spare.

Buttler at his blistering best

Having already struck 100 against Mumbai Indians, an effort followed by a further two half centuries in his last three games, Buttler has started the season in ominous form.

Kolkata were the latest side to fall victim to his destructive batting, Buttler hitting nine fours and five sixes on his way to 103.

He joins Chris Gayle (2011), Virat Kohli (2016), Hashim Amla (2017), Shane Watson (2018) and Shikhar Dhawan (2020) in scoring multiple hundreds in a season.

Chahal sparks collapse, Obed the real McCoy

There was jubilation for Rajasthan as Chahal claimed their fifth IPL hat-trick when he had Pat Cummins caught behind.

Yadav extinguished any thoughts of a procession from there, but McCoy – playing his first cricket since a right leg injury ended his involvement in West Indies' T20 World Cup campaign last October – rose to the occasion in his maiden IPL match to finish the job. The Royals are now second on eight points, two ahead of KKR.

Gujarat Titans leapfrogged Rajasthan Royals at the top of the Indian Premier League as captain Hardik Pandya starred in a comfortable 37-run win.

Things looked bleak for the Titans when they saw their top order dominated early on, but Hardik's magnificent 87 helped them to 192-4, before the Gujarat attack blitzed their rivals midway through the Royals innings.

Lockie Ferguson and Yash Dayal finished with three wickets apiece as the Royals could only muster 155-9 in reply, sending the Titans two points clear at the top of the IPL table.

The Titans elected to bat after winning the toss but made a dreadful start when both Matthew Wade (12) and Vijay Shankar (2) went early on, the former being run out by Rassie van der Dussen and the latter caught by Sanju Samson.

They steadied themselves to reach 53 before Shubman Gill was dismissed for 11 in the sixth over, before captain Hardik, supported well by Abhinav Manohar (43) and David Miller (31 not out) dragged them back into contention with an outstanding batting display.

Hardik was undoubtedly the star of the show, his 87 off 52 balls almost single-handedly setting a difficult target of 192 as the Royals attack struggled in the absence of fast bowler Trent Boult.

Jos Buttler (52) drove Rajasthan to a decent start with the bat, hitting eight fours and three sixes either side of partner Devdutt Padikkal being dismissed for nought with the very first ball he faced. 

Replacement Ravichandran Ashwin went for eight shortly after and the wickets began to tumble in quick fashion once Buttler was finally bowled out by Ferguson, with Samson (11), Van der Dussen (6), and Shimron Hetmyer (29) all walking for the addition of 60 runs. 

The below-par Royals eventually lost nine wickets without threatening the target of 193, as Ferguson and Dayal helped themselves to three dismissals each.

Hardik drives Titans with spectacular display

Hardik's brilliant display with the bat drove the Titans to a strong position after a difficult start, falling just five runs short of recording his best IPL showing with a haul of 87.

Debutant Dayal blitzes poor Royals

Three wickets from Dayal on his Titans debut, as well as three from Ferguson, made the win more comfortable than it could have been, with the Royals' final three wickets falling for just 17 runs.

Rajasthan Royals moved to the top of the Indian Premier League as they survived a Marcus Stoinis blitz to claim a three-run victory over Lucknow Super Giants.

The Royals were grateful to Shimron Hetmyer, whose stunning 59 not out helped them recover from 67-4 to post a competitive 165-6.

No team had successfully defended a total at the Wankhede Stadium in the IPL this season, but the Royals changed that despite some near heroics from Stoinis.

Trent Boult took two wickets in the first two balls of Lucknow's reply and, though Stoinis moved them to within 15 runs of triumph heading into the final over, Kuldeep Sen produced some excellent death bowling to help Rajasthan cling on.

Jos Buttler (13) and Devdutt Padikkal (29) put on 42 for the first Rajasthan wicket, only for the Royals to lose four for 25 runs in the space of five overs.

Hetmyer blasted six maximums in a remarkable 36-ball effort, receiving able support from Ravichandran Ashwin, who struck 28 off 23 deliveries.

A stand of 68 gave Rajasthan something respectable to defend, and Boult immediately put them in the driver's seat with the dismissals of Super Giants captain KL Rahul and Krishnappa Gowtham either side of a wide in the first over of the reply.

Despite Quinton de Kock's 39, it looked as if the game was up for Lucknow when the superb Yuzvendra Chahal (4-41) reduced them to 126-8.

Yet Stoinis, who hit 38 off just 17 balls, had Lucknow in position to deny Rajasthan, but Sen ensured there was to be no dramatic late turnaround, with the Royals now heading five teams on six points because of their superior net run rate.

Hetmyer's hot streak

Hetmyer continued his strong start to the IPL season in some style, reaching his half-century in just 33 balls, his pivotal display following scores of 32, 35 and 42 not out. His average of 84 is bettered only by Suryakumar Yadav (120), who has played two innings fewer.

Stoinis almost saves Lucknow

Stoinis struck four sixes and two fours in a destructive performance that almost rescued the match for Lucknow, but his final maximum came after Sen restricted him with three successive dot balls to clinch victory for Rajasthan.

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.

Jos Buttler's second Indian Premier League century helped maintain Rajasthan Royals' winning start in 2022, setting the stage for a 23-run defeat of Mumbai Indians.

The Indians put their opponents in to bat first but no doubt soon regretted that decision as opener Buttler plundered 100 off 68 balls.

That knock did the heavy lifting in the Royals' 193-8 – a total that proved comfortably beyond Mumbai, despite the best efforts of teenager Tilak Varma (61).

Buttler had 26 runs in a dizzying fourth over alone and later put on 82 with captain Sanju Samson (30) for the third wicket in the biggest partnership of the match.

Shimron Hetmyer (35) played his part and the Royals were moving at a blistering pace up until his departure, collapsing from 183-3 with 11 balls remaining.

That shaky finish looked like it could prove costly when Varma joined Ishan Kishan (54) in the middle, but Ravi Ashwin finally got the better of the 19-year-old.

Yuzvendra Chahal (2-26) then set about tidying up the rest of the middle order, getting Tim David and Daniel Sams from consecutive deliveries before creating a hat-trick chance with his ball to Murugan Ashwin, only for Karun Nair to fluff the catch, if not his team's ultimately routine win.

Bumrah bests Buttler after brilliant show

One of the great limited-overs batsmen, Buttler's tally of a single hundred in 66 prior IPL matches was on the light side. He was well on the way to his second century within four overs, though, with 38 runs off 20 balls at that stage.

The England wicketkeeper hit five boundaries in succession – two fours and three sixes – in that fourth over. Although that pace then slowed a little, it still required an elite bowler to eventually get Buttler, with a Jasprit Bumrah beauty among three wickets in the 19th over as he finished with 3-17.

Victory charge ends with Varma wicket

Varma could not join Buttler on three figures, but this was a first fifty and will surely not be his last. It said a lot for Varma's performance that he earned a send off from Ashwin, having sent him for six with a reverse sweep from the previous ball.

Unfortunately for the Indians, already slightly behind in the game, their next boundary did not follow for almost three overs – during which time Chahal took his two wickets.

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