Saturday, 22 September, 2018

RR's Jos Buttler equals Virender Sehwag's record for most consecutive IPL fifties

Evin Lewis of Mumbai Indians en route to his half-century against Rajasthan Royals Evin Lewis of Mumbai Indians en route to his half-century against Rajasthan Royals
Theresa Hayes | 14 May, 2018, 12:13

In what would be an qualifier before the Play offs Mumbai Indians lock horns with Rajasthan Royals. He also picked up his fifth consecutive fifty equaling Virender Sehwag's record set in 2012.

In the bowling department, Royals have had mixed fortunes although the inclusion of Jofra Archer has lent some balance to the attack. Evin Lewis (60 off 42 balls) tried to flex his arms but the Rajasthan Royals bowlers never really let that grip slip away from them. Rajasthan not only have Mumbai stalwarts like Zubin Bharucha, Amol Muzumdar, Sairaj Bahutule in their coaching staff, but they also have skipper Ajinkya Rahane in their ranks.

As was the case with Mumbai, Rajasthan too slowed down as the ball got softer and the boundaries were hard to come by. On the other hand, Shreyas Gopal can get a nod ahead of Ankit, for he was more economical and took some wickets in the beginning stages of the IPL. 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.

Mumbai Indians: S Yadav, E Lewis, RG Sharma*, I Kishan (wk), H Pandya, B Cutting, K Pandya, JP Duminy, M McClenaghan, M Markande, J Bumrah.

Buttler's hopes of a century were dashed by team-mate Sanju Samson, who blasted back-to-back sixes off Hardik Pandya to rush the Royals towards their target.

Archer's wickets of Suryakumar Yadav and Rohit Sharma off successive deliveries in the 11th over was perhaps the turning point of the match. He bowled 14 dot balls and terrorized the batsmen with his lightening fast Yorkers and short balls.

Jofra Archer who now has 13 wickets to his name from just seven games is our pick for "Bowler of the Match".

It was Jasprit Bumrah who bowled a flawless seam delivery to Short and Ishan Kishan took a solid catch to get MI their first wicket. Today's game holds special importance as the winning side gets a chance to eliminate the rival from the play-offs. Suryakumar then hit Kulkarni for a couple of fours in his second over and Lewis followed suit as Mumbai ended the Power Play at 51 without loss. His form with the bat, however, has been disappointing having been dismissed for a golden duck in both the games against KXIP.

Per ESPNcricinfo's Smart Stats metrics, Archer had a Smart Economy Rate of -0.01 in this game, which essentially means that he saved more runs than he conceded.

Despite Ben Stokes' poor form in this years IPL, England team-mate Chris Woakes has backed the Durham all-rounder to come through his current bad spell, claiming he is a world class player, SA Cricket Mag report.