The result: Mumbai Indians 6-168 (Lewis 60, Archer 2-16) lost to Rajasthan Royals 3-171 (Buttler 94no, Hardik 2-52) by seven wickets with 12 balls remaining.
The match in a tweet: Jos Buttler blasts fifth 50 in a row to equal Virender Sehwag’s record and get Rajasthan one step closer to the final four! #MIvRR
The record breaker: Englishman Jos Buttler has been the signing of the tournament, shifting from Mumbai to Rajasthan in the off-season and flourishing at the top of the Royals order. It was no different against his old side, smashing an unbeaten 94 from 53 balls, including nine boundaries and five sixes to drive Rajasthan to fifth on the IPL table. His knock comes just two days after he smashed an unbeaten 95 against the Super Kings, Rajasthan now the only team to have won their past three matches.
The streak: Buttler's last five scores of 67, 51, 82, 95no and 94no equals the all-time T20 record of five consecutive half-centuries shared by India's Virender Sehwag, Pakistan's Kamran Akmal and Zimbabwe's Hamilton Masakadza. It's a remarkable run of form in the hit-and-miss format of Twenty20 cricket and Buttler could grab the record for himself in his next match.
The English quicks: Three of Rajasthan’s overseas players were from Old Blighty and each had a major role to play in their victory over Mumbai. Prior to Jos Buttler’s blitzkrieg with the bat, Ben Stokes (2-26) and Jofra Archer (2-16) combined in the middle overs to restrict the reigning champions, with 25 dot balls bowled between them. While Archer’s fielding woes were rampant, he and his partner’s bowling efforts made it difficult for the Indians to gather any momentum with the bat.
The long and the Short: D’Arcy Short was recalled after a lengthy period on the bench, elevated to open the batting with Buttler and allowing Ajinkya Rahane to slot back into his preferred No.3 spot. It counted for nothing as Short was dismissed in the first over for the third time this tournament. He edged behind and once again left it all to do for the middle order, which was saved by Buttler’s heroics. Short's form hasn’t nearly reached the heights of his recent Big Bash League campaign and the 27-year-old has admitted he’s struggled to adapt to the Indian wickets.
The next stop: Things are heating up at the top with two playoff spots open for four teams to grab. Rajasthan will meet one of their competitors for the remaining positions, Kolkata, on Wednesday, while Mumbai face a crucial clash against Kings XI Punjab, with a defeat there possibly knocking them out of the tournament.
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