Another Jos Buttler special took Rajasthan Royals over the line at the Wankhede on Sunday night in the 47th match of the Indian Premier League season between Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan Royals. Spurred by a Lewis half-century and some late spanking from Hardik Pandya, Mumbai had reached a respectable 168. But it looked rather small the moment Buttler evaded the Jasprit Bumrah and Krunal Pandya threat early on. Here is the report card of the match.
Even Lewis - 10/10
Lewis hasn't quite been the force he was expected to be when bought by Mumbai Indians at the auctions but every now and then glimpses of his unmistakable talent pop out and at Mumbai on Sunday, Rajasthan Royals were in for some bashing as the West Indian completed a half-century in quick time. However, he fell soon afterwards triggering a Mumbai collapse along with him.
Jos Buttler - 10/10
There is no stopping Buttler this IPL season. He equalled Virender Sehwag's record in 2012 by slamming a fifth consecutive half-century, surviving the testing overs from Krunal and Mayank Markande, to emerge on top. He stood unbeaten until the end and although he couldn't complete that elusive century, once again took his team to a magnificent win.
Jofra Archer - 10/10
The menacing seam bowler has been a revelation for Rajasthan Royals and yet again brought the opposition's surge to a grinding halt. He returned to the attack in the middle overs with Suryakumar Yadav and Evin Lewis looking unstoppable and dismissed the former and the skipper, Rohit Sharma, off consecutive balls to begin Mumbai’s slide. His four-over spell cost a measly 16 runs.
Ben Stokes - 9/10
The versatile England all-rounder seemed determined to make an impact and sent down four pretty good overs to help Rajasthan's cause. He picked out the dangerous Ishan Kishan with a well disguised change of pace and ended the innings with a second wicket in the form of Hardik Pandya.
Suryakumar Yadav - 9/10
If Mumbai are placed where they are in the points table, they owe a lot to their experimental opener, Suryakumar Yadav, who is turning into one of the players of the season. Suryakumar has had a great deal of impact on Mumbai's batting this year and although he didn't appear in as good a touch as in other games, the 38 came off 31 balls as he stitched a partnership of 87 with Lewis.
Sanju Samson - 8/10
The trend of making attractive 20s did not stop for Sanju Samson, however, he had three excellent catches in the outfield to propel him to the top half of the report card. With Rajasthan needing some firepower to aid Buttler at the back-end of the run chase, Samson came out all guns blazing, did his part and fell with the game well within grasp.
Ajinkya Rahane - 7/10
Unlike his previous few innings’, Rahane got going but failed to keep the required run rate and his strike rate in sync. While Buttler did the bulk of the scoring, Rahane played second-fiddle although one feels he could have gone at a better rate.
Hardik Pandya - 7/10
A natural striker of the ball, Hardik, after a hot and cold start to the season, has found his groove much akin to his franchise. Walking in at the fall of the third wicket, Hardik, kept Mumbai in the race with a 21 ball 36 that included a 19 run over against Jaydev Unadkat. He picked up a couple of scalps with the ball but gave away runs at 13 an over.
Mitchell McCleneghan - 6/10
Despite going wicketless, McCleneghan was among the only Mumbai Indians’ seamers to keep things tidy and put a leash on the scoring rate. Usually a wicket-taking bowler who goes for runs, McCleneghan put in a more matured display but got little support from the other bowlers, save Krunal.
Krunal Pandya - 5/10
The elder Pandya brother came back wicketless from a four over spell where he was primarily used to restrict the rampant Buttler. To his credit, Krunal tied things up with his immaculate accuracy and gave away runs at just six an over. Earlier, with the bat, he couldn't make much of an impact.
Ben Cutting - 4/10
The all-rounder came in to bat at the fag end of Mumbai's innings and hit a six in his seven ball stay at the crease. However, he was bizarrely not used at all with the ball despite guys like Markande and Hardik going for a lot of runs.
Jaydev Unadkat - 4/10
The Rajasthan seamer dished out his variations yet again in the hope of stifling a belligerent Mumbai middle-order. His 17th over cost just four runs and it seemed like the RPSG Unadkat of 2017 had finally arrived. However, two overs later, Hardik took him on for 19 runs to ruin his match figures.
Jasprit Bumrah - 3/10
Bumrah has been sorely lacking this season on the very qualities that made him a world-beating T20 bowler. His death overs do not seem to have as much venom and his searing yorkers, which used to be impossible to score off, aren't that threatening anymore. On Sunday, most of his plans went awry against a meticulous Buttler prepared to launch everything into Mars or further.
Ishan Kishan - 2/10
The youngster wicket-keeper batsman has a lot of trust placed on him by the Mumbai Indians management but after his scintillating knock the other night, Kishan couldn't carry forward the momentum and perished in an attempt to up the ante.
Dhawal Kulkarni - 2/10
The usually economical Dhawal Kulkarni was shown no mercy by Lewis and Co and went for over 10 an over although he did manage to stop the West Indian in a 17-run over which completed his quota of overs. Kulkarni is more of a new ball bowler and Rajasthan would do well to complete his quota of overs early or not use him later on in the innings.
Mayank Markande - 1/10
The leg-spinner who had a brilliant start to the season is finding the going tough of late with runs coming thick and fast off his bowling. He conceded at over 10 an over once again and couldn't buy himself a wicket either.
Shreyas Gopal - 1/10
The leg-spinner looks lost for ideas after coming into the XI in place of an injured Ish Sodhi. Gopal failed to pick wickets or contain the scoring rate and his two overs cost 21 runs but even more appalling was the fact that he appeared to be of little threat to the batsmen.
Krishnappa Gowtham - 1/10
After a rather impressive start with the ball this season, Gowtham is being taken to the cleaners by batsmen in the powerplay overs. Perhaps Rajasthan Royals are missing a trick by not trying him in various roles for he seems to be a one trick pony at the moment.
D’Arcy Short - 1/10
The Australian Big Bash hero’s wretched IPL campaign took a turn for the worst yet again as he walked back into the playing XI for the crucial match against Mumbai Indians, appeared fidgety in the majority of balls he faced and departed for yet another single digit score. It was surprising in the first place that Rajasthan had chosen to go back to Short despite having enough back-up openers.
Rohit Sharma - 1/10
Rohit Sharma's woes in the season seem never-ending and yet again he succumbed to a golden duck, the second this year against Rajasthan Royals. Undone by an Archer bouncer first up, Rohit took on the short ball and hit it straight to the fielder.
*JP Duminy and Stuart Binny haven't been rated because of their minimal role in the match.
Rating chart: 10-9: Excellent, 8-7: Good, 6-5: Average, 4-3: Poor, 2-1: Very poor