Mumbai, April 22 (IANS) A masterful Jos Buttler blazed to his third century of IPL 2022 and raised 155 runs for the opening wicket with Devdutt Padikkal (54) as Rajasthan Royals posted a massive 222/2 in 20 overs against Delhi Capitals in Match 34, at the Wankhede Stadium here on Friday.
Delhi Capitals, already ravaged by a Covid-19 outbreak in their squad, reached Wankhede Stadium instead of MCA Stadium in Pune without head coach Ricky Ponting, who went into isolation after a family member tested positive this morning.
On the field, they ran into Buttler, who was in imperious form as he built his innings with caution before hitting a plethora of shots in scoring 116 off 65 deliveries. This was his third century of this edition of IPL and fourth overall. Virat Kohli had scored four tons in a single edition of IPL in 2016 and now Buttler needs one more century to equal that record. Buttler struck his first hundred of IPL 2022 against Mumbai Indians at DY Patil, his second was against Kolkata Knight Riders at Brabourne.
Buttler smashed his 100 off 57 deliveries, hitting eight fours and eight sixes as he and Padikkal raised 155 runs for the opening wicket — their highest partnership for any wicket, surpassing the unbeaten 152-run stand for the third wicket between Ben Stokes and Sanju Samson against Mumbai Indians at Abu Dhabi in 2020. This was the first 150-run stand for the opening wicket in IPL 2022.
Padikkal played second fiddle but showed his range of shots, hitting Mustafizur Rahman for three successive fours early in his innings as Rajasthan Royals made full use of the opportunity to bat first and set up a big target for Delhi Capitals.
Skipper Sanju Samson displayed a brilliant cameo of unbeaten 46 off 19 deliveries, capitalising on a dropped catch when he was on 28.
But not many had hoped that Rajasthan Royals will post the highest total of this season at the start of the innings.
Buttler and Padikkal started slowly as Rajasthan Royals reached 44 for no loss in the power-play. Padikkal had welcomed Mustafizur Rahman for three successive fours in his first over while Buttler waded into Khaleel Ahmad for a big six, hitting across the line against a length ball and depositing it in the lower-tiers over deep midwicket.
He clobbered Shardul Thakur, who had started with a rare maiden over, into the upper tier over deep mid-wicket as Rajasthan Royals reached 87/0 at the midway stage. The English batter completed his half-century in 36 balls, hitting four boundaries and as many sixes with a four off a full toss by Lalit Yadav.
Padikkal tried to keep pace as he sent Lalit over the rope as the Royals reached 100 in the 11th over. Buttler changed gears after reaching his fifty, he hammered Lalit Yadav for 18 runs with two sixes and a four in the 13th over and handed the same treatment to Kuldeep Yadav two overs later. In between, he reverse-swept Axar Patel for a four and lost his partner Padikkal for 54, trapped lbw by Khaleel Ahmed after Royals crossed 150 in the 14th over. Butler reached his century undeterred, crossing the three-figure mark off 57 deliveries and striking eight fours and eight sixes in the process. In the five overs between 12th and 16th, Rajasthan Royals hammered 54 runs.
Buttler took 36 balls for his first fifty but needed just 21 deliveries for the second as he blazed to glory once again.
Skipper Sanju Samson hammered 21 runs in the 18th over off Khaleel Ahmad, hitting two fours and two sixes but was also lucky as the bowler put down an easy skier after inducing an error with a well-directed short one.
Buttler continued to score at a brisk pace, blasting a four and a six off Khaleel Ahmed in the 19trh over as Rajasthan Royals reached 200 in the 19th over. He was eventually out for 116 off 65 balls, caught by David Warner, holing out to long-on, trying to hit a yorker by Mustafizur in the last ball of the 19th over.
Brief scores: Rajasthan Royals 222/2 in 20 overs (Devdutt Padikkal 54, Jos Buttler 116, Sanju Samson 46 not out; Mustafizur Rahman 1/43) against Delhi Capitals.