MUMBAI: Jos Buttler's dream season just got a bit better after he knocked the stuffing out of a quality Kolkata Knight Riders attack with a magnificent second IPL hundred to power Rajasthan Royals to an imposing 217 for five here on Monday.
Buttler's 61-ball-103 had nine fours and five sixes, some of which were out of the ordinary, including one off Umesh Yadav (0/44 in 4 overs) which landed into the adjacent tennis courts of Cricket Club of India.
When he finally got out trying to hook Pat Cummins (1/50 in 4 overs), Royals had crossed 180-run mark and by then the Australian Test captain was hammered for as many as seven fours and a six, bulk of them by the dashing England keeper-batter.
Buttler added 97 runs for the opening wicket stand with Devdutt Padikkal (24 off 18 balls), who only faced deliveries worth three overs in the first 10 overs. He was then joined by skipper Sanju Samson (38 off 19 balls), who was equally destructive in their 67-run second wicket stand in just 5.4 overs.
None of the KKR bowlers save Sunil Narine (2/21 in 4 overs) looked like posing any threat to Buttler, who seems to be walking away with the Orange Cap with an aggregate of 375 runs in six games so far. Varun Chakravarthy (0/30 in 2 overs) is getting from bad to worse during the season as neither there is bite nor any mystery in his deliveries and it was like cannon fodder on a Brabourne batting beauty.
The fifth bowling option turned out to be a nightmare as Andre Russell (0/29 in 2 overs) completed Chakravarthy's quota as they cumulatively gave away 59 runs in 4 overs. Shivam Mavi (1/34 in 4 overs) and Umesh started off well during the first two overs primarily because Padikkal is out of sorts.
However, showing cricketing smarts, Padikkal gave Buttler bulk of the strike and that changed the course from the third over of the match. Umesh, who had started the tournament on a bright note, got back to his old self of being erratic as Buttler lofted him for a four and a six off successive deliveries.
The floodgates opened after that as he literally toyed with Chakravarthy, whom he hit for a six by rocking back and having enough time to send him into the orbit. If there was a wide yorker, he would steer past third-man, short deliveries were pulled and those on the legs were tucked behind square.
Brief Score: Rajasthan Royals: 217 for 5 in 20 overs (Jos Buttler 103, Sunile Narine 2/21) vs KKR