Cricket

Buttler smashes 124 in Rajasthan win

Buttler’s previous highest score in T20s was 95 not out
Indian Premier League, Delhi
Rajasthan Royals 220-3 (20 overs): Buttler 124, Samson 48
Sunrisers Hyderabad 165-8 (20 overs): Bairstow 30; Mustafizur 3-20, Morris 3-29
Rajasthan Royals won by 55 runs
Scorecard

England’s Jos Buttler hit 124 from 64 balls – his first Twenty20 hundred – as Rajasthan Royals beat Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League.

Buttler made a relatively slow start but accelerated in stunning fashion, striking 11 fours and eight sixes.

The opener scored 35 from his first 33 balls and then 89 from his next 31 to power Rajasthan to 220-3.

Sunrisers faded after England’s Jonny Bairstow fell for 30 in reply, ending on 165-8 in a 55-run defeat.

They dropped Australia’s David Warner a day after removing him as captain.

The knock by Buttler, who eventually played on off Sandeep Sharma in the penultimate over, is the highest score by an England player in the IPL.

He is the fourth England player to hit an IPL ton, following Kevin Pietersen, Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow, and passed his previous T20 high score of 95 not out.

“I’ll finally stop getting [former England captain] Alastair Cook telling me he has one more T20 hundred than me,” Buttler said.

Sri Lanka legend Kumar Sangakkara, part of the Royals’ management, said: “It was an outstanding innings. He is one of the best T20 openers in the world.”

Rajasthan jump to fifth in the table at the tournament’s halfway stage, two points off the play-off places while Sunrisers remain bottom.

Elsewhere, Punjab Kings and India batsman KL Rahul, the leading run-scorer in the tournament, has been hospitalised with acute appendicitis and will undergo surgery.

‘It has been a struggle’ – Buttler finds stunning form

Buttler’s start to the IPL had been quiet with scores of 41 and 49 interspersed with efforts of five, eight, two and 25.

“I haven’t been feeling in my best form for a while now,” Buttler said.

“It has been a little bit of a struggle.

“Sometimes I’m guilty of trying to get back into form too quickly and not giving myself a chance. I managed to do that today and I got better as the innings went on.”

In his patient start he hit narrowly short of long-on and should have been out lbw on six, but Sunrisers had already wasted their review.

After reaching 50 from 39 balls with a straight six he continued to punish the bowling, including taking 21 from Mohammad Nabi’s over of off-spin.

He shared a stand of 150 with captain Sanju Samson, who made 48 and is one of the two other centurions in this year’s IPL.

Bairstow took Sunrisers to 70-1 in reply but after he hit spinner Rahul Tewatia to long-on wickets fell at regular intervals.

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