Rajasthani Royals 161 for 3 (Buttler 106*, Samson 23, Hazlewood 2-23) beaten Bangalore Royal Challengers 157 for 8 (Patidar 58, du Plessis 25, Prasidh 3-22, McCoy 3-23) by seven wickets
Such was the dominance of the Royals that spectators had started to leave the stadium before the match had even finished. When Buttler hit the winning shot, a six from Harshal Patel, there were still 11 balls left.
A start of a series
After winning the toss, Sanju Samson said the pitch looked a bit sticky. Although few balls landed on batters, there was additional bounce and movement – both in the air and out of the box – offered to the setters. Kohli launched Trent Boult for six on the deep square leg in the first round but fell to Prasidh in the next, trying to direct a back delivery from the length behind the point only to close in on the keeper.
After four overs, the Royal Challengers were 25 to 1. Then Faf du Plessis got two fours – one of them via a gloved jumper that Samson just missed – on Boult. On the other side, Patidar clipped Prasidh beyond the point before knocking him through covers for back-to-back fours. He attempted another back kick on the next ball but failed to hold it off. Riyan Parag, however, reversed the odds at the backspot. This allowed the Royal Challengers to finish the power play in a much better state, at 46 to 1, despite a slow start.
Patidar rides his luck
At one point, du Plessis was hitting on 22 of 21 and Patidar on 20 of 19. Then Patidar took the lead, tossing Yuzvendra Chahal longer for a six. In the 11th he had another slice of luck as his slash on McCoy just beat Ashwin to third man short.
McCoy ended du Plessis’ struggles, firing him for a 27-27 ball, but Glenn Maxwell came in and hit two sixes on the first balls he faced. Then he mistimed a Boult takedown in the 14th and was caught thin-legged.
Patidar, however, continued to attack and raised his fifty, on 40 balls, with a six on Chahal. In the 16th, he pitched Ashwin over deep midwicket for his third innings six. On the next ball, he tried to get clear but was caught right on the boundary line.
The Royal Challengers were 132 for 4 after 16 overs and looked set to reach at least 170. But Chahal, McCoy and Prasidh conceded just 25 in the final four overs. Prasidh’s 19th was the one who really put off the Royal Challengers. On the first pitch, he retired Karthik as the batter went one long. Next, he flattened Wanindu Hasaranga’s middle and leg stumps with a hot yorker. Harshal survived the hat trick, but the damage was done.
Buttler and Jaiswal fly away
It wasn’t a big target. On top of that, Buttler and Jaiswal have given the Royals a strong start. Jaiswal started by hitting Mohammed Siraj for two sixes and a four in the first round. In the seamer’s next seam, Buttler took it for two fours and sixes. Maxwell slid into silence before Buttler took down Shahbaz Ahmed, breaking him for two sixes and a four. Hazlewood got rid of Jaiswal in the latter part of the power play, but nothing could stop Buttler who raised his fifty balls on just 23 balls.
Samson had a slow start and was on 4 out of 7 before jumping to Shahbaz and hitting him longer. Buttler hit two successive fours in the same over. Halfway through the chase, the Royals had run 103 to 1, needing just 55 of the final ten overs.
No miracle for the Royal Challengers
After hitting 66 from 33 balls, Buttler edged Harshal behind the stumps but Karthik dropped the hold. Hasaranga, however, had his match when he knocked Samson down a googly for 23 out of 21 balls. He has now fired Samson six times in 34 balls while giving up just 25 points.
Despite only 14 runs coming from overs 12-15, the Royals still needed just 32 from the final five overs. Buttler then hit Hasaranga for two sixes in an over, going through 800 carries for the season in the process. He reached his hundred balls on 59, then concluded the game with his sixth six of the night.
Hemant Brar is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo