Continuing his phenomenal run with the bat, Jos Buttler struck his third century of Indian Premier League 2022 as Rajasthan Royals defeated Delhi Capitals by 15 runs at the Wankhede Stadium on Friday.
Asked to bat first, RR posted a mammoth total of 222/2 on the back of a majestic 65-ball 116 by Buttler. In reply, DC were in the chase till about the halfway stage but were eventually restricted to 207/8 in their 20 overs.
Buttler, who hit tons against Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders earlier in the season, was at his best once again. He registered a second successive century and his fourth in eight IPL innings. The 31-year-old right-handed opener struck nine fours and as many sixes in his knock and was dismissed only at the end of the 19th over of the innings.
Buttler was ably supported by Devdutt Padikkal (54 off 35) at the top of the order. The left-hander notched up his first half-century of the season and helped add a 155-run partnership for the first wicket.
Rajasthan got the late flourish they were looking for by skipper Sanju Samson, who smashed an unbeaten 46 off 19 with five fours and three sixes.
Khaleel Ahmed and Mustafizur Rahman were the only wicket-takers for Delhi and Shardul Thakur, with figures of 0/29 from three overs, was their most economical bowler on the night.
Delhi didn’t get a flying start they would have hoped for and their in-form opener David Warner (28 off 14) was dismissed in the fifth over. Sarfaraz Khan, promoted up the order, was dismissed four balls later and DC found themselves in deep trouble.
But Prithvi Shaw (37 off 27) and captain Rishabh Pant (44 off 24) revived the innings and added a 51-run partnership for the third wicket in quick time. Delhi were going at about 10 runs an over at the halfway stage but the wickets of Shaw and Pant in a span of 10 balls derailed their chase.
Lalit Yadav then played another impressive innings and scored a valiant 37 off 23, but a stunning wicket-maiden by Prasidh Krishna (3/22) in the 19th over put Rajasthan well on top.
And then came the final over of the match and it had plenty of drama. Delhi needed 36 runs to win and Obed McCoy had the ball in hand. Rovman Powell was on strike and the right-hander managed to his the first three balls of the over for sixes to raise the hopes in the Delhi camp.
But the third ball was a high full-toss and Delhi were upset that it wasn’t called a no-ball. At one point, Pant seemed to gesture to his batters to come off the field in protest and then even sent assistant coach Pravin Amre on the field to have a chat with the umpires.
But the original decision was not overturned and McCoy managed to close out the match by conceding just two more runs and getting the wicket of Powell with the last ball of the match.