Buttler floors Mumbai

Rajasthan Royals' Jos Buttler slammed an unbeaten 94 against Mumbai Indians. PTI

In-form Jos Buttler (94) hit his fifth successive half-century as Rajasthan Royals thrashed Mumbai Indians by seven wickets in a key Indian Premier League clash to stay alive in the play-offs race here on Sunday.

Royals chased 169 on a difficult Wankhede wicket and Buttler batted with a lot of responsibility. The Briton added 95 runs for the second wicket with captain Ajinkya Rahane (37 off 36) as he carried his bat to steer his side past the finish line.

While other batsmen struggled to time the ball, Buttler did it with remarkable ease as he punished the home bowlers with five sixes and nine fours in his entertaining 53-ball knock.

Rahane struggled to rotate the strike. Butter though kept the asking rate under control with his tremendous hitting.

After Rahane’s dismissal, Buttler added 61 runs with Sanju Samson, who chipped in with a useful cameo of 26 runs as Royals overhauled the target with 12 balls to spare.

The win has lifted Rajasthan Royals from sixth position to fifth with 12 points, behind KKR (12) and KXIP (12).

Caribbean batsman Evin Lewis had smashed a 42-ball 60 before Hardik Pandya produced a quick-fire 36 to push the hosts to 168 for six after being invited to bat.

Lewis batted smartly as he opened his arms only after building his innings steadily after being dropped at five.

Lewis added 87 runs with fellow opener Suryakumar Yadav (38 off 31) who was also dropped on nine by the Royals fielders. Lewis hit four sixes and as many fours in his innings.

West Indies’ paceman Jofra Archer produced excellent bowling performance to put the hosts under pressure. He conceded only 16 runs from his four overs and dismissed Lewis and Suryakumar and Rohit Sharma (0) in successive balls.

He used the bounce available in the pitch, hit the deck hard and bowled straight into the batsmen, hardly giving any room to open their arms.

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Buttler floors Mumbai

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