July 12, 2024
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IPL 2022: Royals win in a nail-biting finish

Following Prasidh Krishna’s wicket-maiden, Delhi Capitals needed six sixes off the final over to secure an unlikely victory. The first three balls from Obed McCoy were sent into the stands by Rovman Powell, setting hearts racing. The third ball was a full-toss, and Powell demanded a no-ball because he thought it was above waist-height. The umpires disagreed, and the batsman appeared to threaten to leave.

Rishabh Pant, the DC skipper, was gesturing towards Powell from the dugout. In the absence of head coach Ricky Ponting, DC assistant coach Pravin Amre approached the umpires, purportedly seeking an explanation. Powell had lost his rhythm by the time the game resumed, while McCoy had regrouped. DC finished on 207/8, 15 runs short of Rajasthan Royals’ 222/2, the highest total in this IPL so far. Jos Buttler came to life in the sixth over of RR’s innings. Until then, he had been averaging less than a run per ball. It matched Ravindra Jadeja’s two dropped catches against the Mumbai Indians on Thursday as an oddity.

Buttler had been troubled by Khaleel Ahmed up front. It was time for a response. It arrived late, after a couple of sixes. In white-ball cricket, Buttler moves like a Ferrari, but in the longer format, he becomes a car with flat tyres. He is having his best season in the IPL, scoring centuries for the fun of it. He followed up his 103 against Kolkata Knight Riders with a 65-ball 116 against DC on Friday, which included nine fours and as many sixes. In this edition, his third century brought his total to 491 runs in seven matches. It is his to lose the Orange Cap.

Buttler’s merry hitting has been witnessed at the DY Patil Stadium, Brabourne, and now Wankhede. In the process, he’s become a fan favourite. The Wankhede crowd booed Mustafizur Rahman when he pulled out during his run-up and forced Buttler to wait.

The way he dismantled the spinners was the highlight of his innings. Kuldeep Yadav and Axar Patel led the attack for DC, with Kuldeep Yadav and Axar Patel spearheading the attack. Buttler was just playing with them that night. In this format, butter has always been a game-winner. He has embraced consistency this term in order to become a ‘Royal’ run-machine. This is great news for his team, but it’s bad news for their rivals. For the neutrals, his batting has been the tournament’s joy de vivre – the audacity with which he swept Mustafizur for a four was breathtaking.

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