Jos Buttler’s 7th IPL century orchestrates RR’s thrilling win

For a third game in a row, Rajasthan Royals had their hearts in their mouths as the action went right down the wire. This time around, it was Jos Buttler standing between Kolkata Knight Riders and victory.

It didn’t help the visitors’ cause that wickets kept tumbling at the other end, wickets kept tumbling. Save for Riyan Parag, who scored a breezy 14-ball 34, there wasn’t any significant support being extended to Buttler as Royals slipped to 128/6.

With nearly a hundred runs needed in the last eight overs, and with only a solo teammate with batting pedigree for company, Buttler cracked an unbeaten 60-ball 107 to take RR past the finish line.

Sanju Samson called it among the best of Buttler’s IPL centuries. Rovman Powell took it a notch higher and hailed the jailbreak effort one of the top five T20 innings he had ever seen. By the end of the 14th over, the opener was still dawdling at 42 off 33 balls, of which the last 21 deliveries had fetched him only 22 runs.

Having scored a century, picked up two wickets and completed a catch – a feat that no other player in IPL has achieved in a single fixture ever before – the spotlight should’ve ideally been on Sunile Narine. But Buttler, in his final act, changed the complexion of the game to take away the sheen from the left-hander’s pyrotechnics.