MUMBAI: Jos Buttler smashed his third century in the ongoing IPL to power Rajasthan Royals to the highest team total of the season, 222 for 2, against Delhi Capitals here on Friday.
Buttler, enjoying the form of his life, smashed 116 off 65 balls with the help of nine boundaries and as many hits over the fence to lay the foundation of the imposing total in the company of Devdutt Padikkal, who hit 54 off 35 balls with seven fours and two sixes.
DC skipper Rishabh Pant's decision to field first backfired big time as the duo of Buttler and Padikkal struck 155 runs in 15.5 overs for the opening stand. After reaching 50 in 6.5 overs, the duo opened up. Buttler started slowly before picking up the pace and dealt mostly in fours and sixes against the DC spin duo of Kuldeep Yadav and Axar Patel to bring up his fifty in 36 balls.
It was raining fours and sixes for both Buttler and Padikkal as both the batters played confidently to deny success to DC bowlers. Buttler looked in ominous form and was particularly severe on Yadav, hitting the off-spinner for two sixes and one four to pick up 18 runs from the 13th over.
DC's spin attack cut a sorry figure as Axar and Kuldeep too leaked runs with Buttler and Padikkal going hammer and tongs. Padikkal brought up his fifty in 31 balls with a boundary, cutting Axar behind square on the off side.
High on confidence after two centuries in the ongoing edition of the IPL, Buttler continued his onslaught, smacking in-form Kuldeep Yadav for two maximums in consecutive balls and a four in the 15th over. Power-hitting was at its best display as Buttler, in particular, treated all the DC bowlers with disdain.
Padikkal soon perished, caught plumb in front of the wicket by Khaleel Ahmed in the 116th over as DC got their first breakthrough, albeit late in the innings. Buttler finally got out in the penultimate over, holing out to David Warner at long-on off Mutafizur Rahman.
Towards the end, skipper Sanju Samson (46 not out off 19 balls) played a little cameo to help RR cross the 200-run mark and register the highest score of the season.
Brief Scores: Rajasthan Royals: 222 for 2 in 20 overs (Jos Buttler 116, Devdutt Padikkal 54, Sanju Samson 46 not out; Khaleel Ahmed 1/47, Mustafizur Rahman 1/43)