As Rajasthan Royals defeated Mumbai Indians by 23 runs in an IPL match on Saturday, Jos Buttler‘s frenzied mayhem was matched in equal measure by spin twins Ravichandran Ashwin and Yuzvendra Chahal. Buttler (100 off 68 balls) struck his second IPL century off only 66 balls to propel the Royals to 193 for 8, which was slightly below par because to Jasprit Bumrah‘s (3/17 in 4 overs) outstanding performance.

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Ishan Kishan (54 off 43 balls) and the relatively unknown N Tilak Verma (61 off 33 balls) added 81 in 8 overs before Ashwin (1/30 in 4 overs) and Chahal (2/26 in 4 overs) decisively shifted the game in RR’s favour between overs 14 and 16, leaving MI with a total of 170 for 8 after 20 overs. While the Royals have now won two games in a row, MI have lost both of their games in yet another disappointing start to an IPL season.

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In the end, it was a combination of two elements that led to MI’s demise. First and foremost, Buttler’s (11 fours and five sixes) onslaught on MI’s weak links like Basil Thampi and Murugan Ashwin was decisive. Three such overs produced 73 runs, and even Bumrah’s brilliance did not appear to be enough in the closing circumstances of the contest.

The chase was subsequently disrupted as Chahal-bowling Ashwin’s combination let up only 16 runs between overs 14 and 16. Trent Boult (1 for 29 in four overs), Prasidh Krishna (1/37 in four overs), and Navdeep Saini (2/36 in three overs) also kept things close in the final four overs by not allowing Kieron Pollard (22 off 24 overs) any chance to release his arms. Knowing Pollard’s weakness against fast wide yorkers, they bowled plenty of them to keep the West Indies white-ball skipper on a tight leash.

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If MI had one advantage, it would be young Tilak Verma, who, with his eye-catching elegance combined with tremendous strength, has the potential to be the franchise’s next major player. Tilak played one too many slog sweeps to get out off the next ball, despite Ashwin’s magnificent reverse sweep six.

Buttler hit smashes all over the park to record his second IPL century and first of the season. It was all the more commendable given the dismissals of Yashashvi Jaiswal (1) and Devdutt Padikkal (7). Sanju Samson (30 off 21 balls) batted well as he and Buttler put up 82 runs for the third wicket.

Shimron Hetymar’s late cameo (35 off 14 balls; 34; 36) exacerbated the bowling team’s troubles. Buttler, who started the second over with a boundary to fine-leg and blasted his maiden maximum, a pull shot over mid-wicket, off Daniel Sams (0/32), appeared to be on a rampage.

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As Rajasthan collected 26 runs and raced to 43/1, he tore into Basil Thampi’s fourth over, hitting him for three maximums and two boundaries. Buttler, who struck two consecutive boundaries off Sams, reached fifty in 32 balls and then took on the Mumbai Indians attack.

After 10 overs, the score was 87/2, setting the foundation for a massive score. Buttler was hitting huge shots with abandon and was well supported by his captain. Murugan Ashwin was pummelling for 21 runs in the 11th over by the duo. Samson hit three sixes and a four before being caught in the 15th over by Kieron Pollard. Then it was Hetymar’s turn, as he struck compatriot Pollard for two fours and two sixes in the 17th over, in which RR scored 26 runs. Buttler batted brilliantly and hit the three-figure mark with a single. However, Bumrah’s 19th over helped MI get back into the game.