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Jos Buttler’s counter hundred sees Rajasthan chase down 223 to remain IPL points table topper

The England player scored his second hundred of the season to help the in-form Royals win the match that many had expected it could.

Rajasthan Royals’ Jos Buttler celebrates after winning the Indian Premier League match against Kolkata Knight Riders at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on April 16, 2024. (Photo by DIBYANGSHU SARKAR/AFP via Getty Images)

By: India Weekly

JOS Buttler smashed an unbeaten 107 to trump Sunil Narine’s first T20 century as Rajasthan Royals pulled off a joint record IPL chase against Kolkata Knight Riders off the final ball on Tuesday.

Chasing 224 for victory, Rajasthan looked in trouble at 121-6 in the 13th over but Buttler moved through the gears in his 60-ball blitz to achieve the target with two wickets to spare at Kolkata’s Eden Gardens.

Rajasthan equalled their own record from 2020 when they chased down 224 against Kings XI Punjab in Sharjah.

Read: Sunil Narine’s explosive form continues as KKR opener blasts maiden IPL hundred

Buttler, who came in as an impact substitute, reached his second ton of the season in 55 balls with a six off Varun Chakravarthy at the start of the last over.

Buttler, struggling with cramp, then played out three dot balls before a two and a single on the final delivery ensured Rajasthan held on to top spot in the table with six wins in seven matches.

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“Keep believing, that was the real key today,” Buttler said.

“I was struggling a bit for rhythm. At times you feel frustrated or you are questioning yourself. I tell myself ‘It’s okay, keep going, you’ll get your rhythm back and try to stay calm’.”

He said, “There’s been plenty of times throughout the IPL, you’ve seen crazy things happen. Guys like (M.S.) Dhoni and (Virat) Kohli, the way they stay till the end and keep believing and I tried to do the same.”

England’s Buttler, who hit nine fours and six sixes, moved ahead of Chris Gayle with seven IPL tons and is only behind Kohli’s eight in the T20 tournament.

– Narine heroics and bitter pill –

Buttler built key partnerships including 50 runs with Riyan Parag (34), 57 with Rovman Powell (26) and then an unbeaten 38-run stand with Avesh Khan (0 not out).

Spinners Narine, Chakravarthy and fast bowler Harshit Rana took two wickets each for KKR.

“Emotions were a roller-coaster, certainly didn’t think we will get into this situation,” said Kolkata captain Shreyas Iyer.

“It’s a funny game at the end of the day, he was striking the ball cleanly and timing them so well, have to take it on the chin and move on.”

Narine hammered 109 off 56 balls to guide Kolkata, who stay second in the 10-team standings, to 223-6.

Narine put on 85 runs for the second wicket with Angkrish Raghuvanshi, who hit 30, and got together for a 51-run stand with Andre Russell.

Narine, playing his 504th T20 match, reached his ton from 49 balls with a six and a four off Yuzvendra Chahal for Kolkata’s third hundred in the IPL as he jumped for joy.

He was finally bowled by a Trent Boult yorker before he returned to a standing ovation.

Narine moved into the top three in the batting charts led by Royal Challengers Bengaluru’s Kohli (361) with 276 runs.

Rinku Singh finished off the innings on a high with his unbeaten nine-ball 20 including a four and two sixes.

(AFP)

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