Last year’s runners-up Rajasthan Royals made a rollicking start to the IPL, amassing 203 for five against Sunrisers Hyderabad in Hyderabad on Saturday.
Jos Buttler (54), Yashasvi Jaiswal (54) and Sanju Samson (55) slammed aggressive half-centuries as Rajasthan Royals ripped apart the Bhuvneshwar Kumar-led SRH in their own backyard to pile up season’s highest total yet.
In the process, they also became the first team to breach the 200-run mark this season.
One of the consistent performers in the IPL for Rajasthan Royals over lthe ast few years, Buttler made a sensational start to the season stroking his way to a 22-ball 54 with seven fours and three sixes until his assault was ended by SRH debutant Fazalhaq Farooqi.
The England limited-overs captain Buttler began with a six off SRH skipper Bhuvneshwar in the third over and smacked four boundaries off T Natarajan in the fifth over to make it a perfect start for the Royals, after SRH stand-in skipper Bhuvenshwar opted to bowl.
Buttler hit three more fours in the next over from Afghanistan’s Farooqi before the left-armer cleaned him up to end the opening stand for 85 that came off just 35 balls.
Rajasthan Royals’ 85 for one was overall the sixth highest total for any team in the powerplay while it was also their highest score in the first six overs in IPL history.
The dismissal, however, had no effect on Royals’ charge as their skipper Samson teamed up with Jaiswal to add 54 runs for the second wicket, with RR crossing the 100-run mark in the eighth over.
The Royals lost some steam with regular fall of wickets as it took them the penultimate ball of the innings to get past the 200-mark.
If Buttler was ruthless at one end, Jaiswal successfully transitioned his domestic circuit form into making a strong opening to IPL 2023 with ease.
The left-handed batter brought up his overall fourth fifty in the competition, finishing at 54 from 37 balls with nine hits to the fence.
Farooqi got the second wicket for SRH in the 13th over with Abhishek Sharma taking a fine catch to dismiss Jaiswal.
Overall, Rajasthan Royals enjoyed a successful outing with the bat with captain Samson hitting 55 from 31 balls (3x4s, 4x6s).
If RR’s top three made merry with the bat, the young Devdutt Padikkal (2) had no answer to Umran Malik’s 149.2 kmph thunderbolt — in the first delivery of the 15th over — that sent his off-stump flying.
Riyan Parag (7) perished early while Shimron Hetmyer (22 not out from 16 balls, 1x4s, 1x6s) took them past 200.
With four of his six bowlers giving away more than 10 runs an over, SRH’s stand-in captain for the game Bhuvneshwar (3-0-36-0) would certainly have revisited his decision to bowl first.
Natarajan finished with 3-0-23-2 while Farooqi took 2/41 from his four overs. England’s Adil Rashid was wicketless but bowled a controlled spell of 4-0-33-0.