Jos Buttler began the VIVO IPL 2019 with what looked to be match-winning knock, but his Mankading on that occasion took the wind out of his performances in the few games that followed. Rohit Sharma and Quinton de Kock put on an opening-wicket stand of 96 runs from 10.5 overs. MI had lost their way in the death overs until Hardik Pandya's 11-ball 28* lifted them to 187, even though it was below part on a typical Wankhede belter.
Rohit's inclusion will not only put to rest any doubts about his fitness but also boost the Mumbai's batting line-up, which also comprises Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya and ever-reliable Surya Kumar Yadav.
Buttler scored 28 runs in the 13th over, hitting four fours and two sixes off West Indian seamer Alzarri Joseph, as Rajasthan chased 188 for victory. The wicketkeeper-batsman went on to play until the 19th over and notched 81 runs from 52 balls with six boundaries and four sixes. Jofra Archer got his prized wicket.
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Buttler added 87 for the third wicket with Sanju Samson - he was trapped in front by Jasprit Bumrah for 31 - to keep the Royals on track. In the end, it was visiting team, captained by Ajinkya Rahane, won by four wickets. Rohit has looked rusty this season, but not today as he ended up scoring 47 runs from 32 balls with six boundaries and one over-boundary. Against Mumbai Indians on Saturday, however, Buttler grew in confidence in the middle, and unleashed a fierce array of strokes towards the latter half of his innings to hasten RR's run chase. He then tore into Joseph, taking him for two fours and a six in the fifth over of the innings as the Royals raced to 60 for the opening wicket. Bumrah accounted for the wickets of Sanju Samson and Steve Smith as Mumbai Indians almost pulled off a stunning victory.
While Royals shrugged off a middle-order fumbling, it turned out to be a disappointing day for Mumbai Indians.
Rohit Sharma's injury troubled India ahead of the ICC World Cup 2019, but Pollard has made it clear that the skipper missed MI's previous game just as a precautionary measure and he should be back against Rajasthan Royals.
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To make matters worse, Choupo-Moting's block stopped Nkunku from scoring, especially as it was heading into the back of the net. Dani Alves came close to an equaliser in the 69th minute, only for his spectacular overhead kick to crash on to the crossbar.
Mumbai is a very balanced team.
The 13th over changed the game's complexion as Buttler smashed two sixes and four fours off Joseph to bring down the equation to a manageable run-a-ball.
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