IPL 2024: Buttler's unbeaten 107 tops Narine's ton as Rajasthan overcome Kolkata by two wickets

Kolkata, Apr 17 (IANS): Back into the side as an Impact Substitute after an injury, Jos Buttler struck a counter-attacking unbeaten century to help Rajasthan Royals mount the joint-highest successful chase in Indian Premier League (IPL) history against Kolkata Knight Riders at the Eden Gardens on Tuesday.

Buttler hammered an unbeaten 107 off 60 balls, blasting nine boundaries and six maximums as Rajasthan Royals raced to 224/8 in 20 overs after Sunil Narine blazed to his maiden IP century, a 56-ball 109 that had helped KKR reach a massive 223/6.

Rajasthan Royals looked down and out at 121/6 in the 13th over, but Buttler found an ally in Rovman Powell, who blasted a 13-ball 26, triggering a counter-attack as they launched an audacious chase. Powell was out but Buttler continued with his brilliant batting despite looking drained of energy and limping and jogging for runs.

Buttler struck his second century of the season after reaching the three-figure mark against RCB last week, reaching the mark in 55 balls as he nursed the tail to guide Rajasthan Royals to a brilliant victory and maintained their hold on the top position with 12 points from seven matches. KKR remained on eight points from six matches.

It was Buttler's seventh hundred in IPL, going past Chris Gayle with only Virat Kohli in front.

Chasing a big target, Rajasthan Royals bolstered their batting by bringing in Jos Buttler as an Impact Substitute. However, they were soon in trouble as fellow opener Yashasvi Jaiswal was out for 19 off nine balls with the team score reading 22/1 in the second over.

Jaiswal hammered three fours and one six in his brief innings, indicating that RR were going to go for the target. Jos Buttler and Sanju Samson took the score to 47 before the skipper went back to the dug-out, unable to capitalise on life as he could manage only 12 off eight balls.

Buttler finally found a willing partner in young Riyan Parag as they raised fifty runs in 21 balls to take the score to 97. Parag blazed to 34 off 14 balls, hitting four boundaries and two maximums as they kept Rajasthan in the hunt. He struck a six and a four off Vaibhav Arora and handed the same treatment to Harshit Rana in the eighth over. However, he was out at the most inappropriate time for RR as Rana had his revenge as he holed out to Andre Russell at deep midwicket.

Rajasthan Royals suffered a collapse in the middle overs, losing three quick wickets as Dhruv Jurel (2), Ravichandran Ashwin (8) and Shimron Hetmyer (0) fell in quick succession, as Varun Chakravarthy claimed two wickets off successive balls.

But just when it looked like KKR were getting into the driver's seat, Jos Buttler, who was waging a lone battle, found a willing partner in Rovman Powell as they raised a 57-run partnership in double-quick times as they gave chase in right earnest. Powell blasted 26 off 13 balls before he was trapped by Sunil Narine.

Buttler continued his brilliant counterattack as he not only went on to complete his century but also guided Rajasthan Royals to a memorable victory, shielding the tailenders even when he limped and looked drained.

Buttler hammered Harshit Rana for two sixes interspersed by a four off Harshit Rana and took a double and single off the last two balls as he scored 19 runs in the penultimate over.

KKR skipper Shreyas Iyer handed the ball to Varun Chakravarthy to bowl the last over and with nine needed off six balls, Buttler dug out a thumping six to complete his century. Chakravarthy then bowled three dot balls before Buttler placed the ball in wide long-off for two runs to tie the scores. Off the final delivery of the match, Buttler scampered for a single to seal victory for Rajasthan Royals.

Brief scores:

Kolkata Knight Riders 223/6 in 20 overs (Sunil Narine 109, Angkrish Raghuvanshi 30; Avesh Khan 2-35, Trent Boult 1-31) lost to Rajasthan Royals 224/8 in 20 overs (Jos Buttler 107 not out, Riyan Parag 34, Rovman Powell 26; Sunil Narine 2-30, Varun Chakravarthy 2-36, Harshit Rana 2-45) by two wickets.



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Title: IPL 2024: Buttler's unbeaten 107 tops Narine's ton as Rajasthan overcome Kolkata by two wickets

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