Butler's 94 keeps RR alive in IPL


He had come into his seventh match with a tally of 11 wickets at 17.82 and with an economy rate ranging between 5.50 (against MI at Jaipur) and 11.73 (against KXIP at Indore). The advantage is to the Mumbai Indians who play at home and have been the strongest there owing to their faithful supporters who make it a hell for the visiting team. This could be looked at two ways. In that fixture, Suryakumar and Ishan Kishan had powered Mumbai to 130 for 1 in the 15th over before Archer bowled effectively at the death, taking three wickets in the 19th over.

After Archer's heroics, Jos Buttler (94 not out, 53b, 9x4, 5x6) got into the thick of action and delivered a fine victory that has kept his team in the fray for the playoffs. Royals were once again led by superlative Jos Buttler and it was the fifth consecutive half-century by the Englishman. 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. It's unrealistic to think he can carry on at such a pace in the riskiest format of the game. Their biggest cause for concern has been the form of Ben Stokes, who has had a disappointing IPL 2018 with both bat and ball.

It was a flawless partnership as Rahane played a run-a-ball knock, Buttler dealt in with fours and sixes to get the things going. "Someone has put his hand up and taken up the responsibility", Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit Sharma spoke with a hint of confidence after losing the toss against Rajasthan Royals. I think Rajasthan can go all the way this season. If they beat Mumbai they are almost there. His knock comes just two days after he smashed an unbeaten 95 against the Super Kings, Rajasthan now the only team to have won their past three matches.

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Mumbai's bowling, even though floored KKR in their last match, needs improvement in the death overs. The completely unpredictable side surprised everyone after defeating CSK to get back to winning ways.

Suryakumar Yadav has been the star show for the Indians with 435 runs and four fifties.

With Rohit Sharma promoting himself to No. 3 in the batting order, the MI side looks more settled than before, and the addition of JP Duminy in place of the misfiring Kieron Pollard has been a welcome change, while Ben Cutting has added some muscle in finishing off innings with the bat. With the Pandya brothers also scoring heavily in an all-round capacity this market is a tough one to gauge and has to be a value punt. The cover nibble on the Pandya's would be a wise move. By contrast, brother Krunal's economy was almost half of that with 6.00.