Jos Buttler’s first T20 hundred took the Rajasthan Royals to a convincing 55-run win over Sunrisers Hyderabad in an IPL 2021 match in Delhi on Sunday.
Buttler muscled 11 fours and eight sixes in his 64-ball 124 as RR posted its highest ever total batting first. Chasing 221, Jonny Bairstow and Manish Pandey – opening for the first time since 2014 – got SRH off to a flying start. The two added 57 off 36 before SRH lost both in two overs after the powerplay ended – Pandey clean bowled by Mustafizur Rahman and Bairstow caught at long-on off Rahul Tewatia. And Kane Williamson’s dismissal – the new SRH skipper – in the 13th over put RR firmly in control.
A rejigged Sunrisers line-up notwithstanding, its batting woes continued as Chris Morris (3 for 29) and Rahman (3 for 20) broke the lower middle-order’s back to get RR over the line. This was SRH’s third consecutive loss in the league, and sixth overall.
Earlier, the Royals having been inserted, lost Yashasvi Jaiswal early. Rashid Khan, introduced in the powerplay for the first time this season, trapped Jaiswal in front of the middle with a slider.
Williamson shuffled his bowlers upfront, with Rashid and Bhuvneshwar Kumar bowling two each inside the first six. Rashid could’ve dismissed Buttler, too, had Vijay Shankar not misjudged a catch at long-on.
Buttler and Samson exploded to life in the seventh over of the innings. Both carved Vijay Shankar for a six each in an over that cost 18. Samson got a reprieve on 23 when Pandey dropped a simple chance at long-off. After Rashid bowled out in the 11th over, picking 1 for 24, Buttler notched up his first fifty of IPL-14 with a six. He followed it up with a flat-batted four over extra-cover, taking 17 off Sandeep Sharma’s third.
Emboldened by that little burst, Samson raised the 100 partnership with a boundary over short third man. With SRH desperate for a breakthrough, Williamson delayed the introduction of his fifth bowler. When Mohammed Nabi finally came on to bowl in the 15th over, Buttler collected 21 with two fours and as many sixes.
The 150-run second-wicket stand was broken when Abdul Samad caught Samson for 48 at long-off. A ball later, Buttler racked up his maiden IPL century off 56 balls before clobbering 24 in the 19th to take RR past 200. Nabi and Vijay Shankar conceded a combined 63 from 4 overs.