Jos Buttler equals Virender Sehwag record to keep RR alive; CSK through to play-offs


Jos Buttler smashed a 53-ball 94* to take RR to their sixth win in 12 IPL 2018 games and keep their playoff hopes alive on Sunday.

The England player’s knock did CSK a big favour as RR’s win confirmed a play-off berth for MS Dhoni’s men.

During the course of his innings against MI, Buttler also equalled Virender’s Sehwag record for most consecutive fifties (5).

With RR in pursuit of 169, Buttler batted with great control and reached the milestone with a four off Hardik Pandya in the 12th over. He took 35 balls to reach his fifty. He didn’t just stop there and stayed till the end to ensure RR stayed in the hunt.

RR lost D’Arcy Short early but after that Buttler added 95 and 61 with Ajinkya Rahane and Sanju Samson respectively as the visitors took the contest in 18 overs. It was Mumbai’s seventh defeat in 12 games and they were very much out of the reckoning.

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Butler came into the match on the back of scores of 67 (vs DD), 51 (vs KXIP), 82 (vs KXIP), and 95* (vs CSK) and picked up where he had left off against Chennai.

Sehwag had previously hit five successive fifties playing for Delhi in 2012. His scores read 57, 87, 73, 63 and 73.

Earlier in the day after being put into bat at the Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai wasted a great start to fall at least 20 runs short.

Evin Lewis and Suryakumar Yadav came good as both the openers added 87 in 10.4 overs without much fuss. At that time they were looking at a total in the vicinity of 190.

However, Suryakumar (38 off 31 balls) and new batsman Rohit Sharma (0) departed off successive deliveries by West Indian sensation Jofra Archer, and those two wickets derailed the MI innings.

Thereafter they kept losing wickets at regular intervals, including that of Lewis for 60 off 42 balls, and that affected their aspirations a great deal. If it was not for Hardik’s 21-ball 36 towards the end, Mumbai’s total could have been even less.

After a bad start, the RR bowlers sparkled in the second half of the innings and choked the run flow with great skill.

Archer, in yet another great performance, returned figures of 2/16 in his four overs. Ben Stokes also found his rhythm back and played his part to a tee with figures of 2/26. Last-match hero Ishan Kishan (12) and Hardik were his victims.

The returning Dhawal Kulkarni and Jaydev Unadkat chipped in one wicket each.