Rajasthan Royals to meet Gujarat Titans in the IPL Final

By Kersi Meher-Homji

This year’s IPL will be remembered for Jos Buttler’s brilliant batting for Rajasthan Royals. In the qualifying match against Royal Challengers Bangalore on Friday at Ahmedabad he hit a six enabling his team to win by seven wickets with 11 balls in hand.

Buttler (from England) scored a brilliant unbeaten century with 10 fours and 6 sixes off only 60 balls to be made Player of the Match. On Sunday his team will meet Gujarat Titans in the Final at Ahmedabad.

Sent in to bat Royal Challengers Bangalore scored 8 for 157. They started poorly losing openers Virat Kohli for 7 and skipper Faf du Plassis (from South Africa) for 25. Youngster Rajat Patidar was the only batsman to score freely, hitting 58 runs with four fours and three sixes.

Rajasthan Royals started their innings brilliantly with openers Buttler and Yashasvi Jaiswal adding 61 runs in only 5.1 overs. In magnificent form, Buttler smacked ten fours and six sixes in his 106 not out.

This is his fourth century in the current IPL equaling Kohli’s record for most hundreds in an IPL season in 2016. So far Buttler has scored 824 runs. Kohli had scored 973 runs and David Warner 848 runs in 2016.

Will Buttler score 150 runs in the Final to go past Kohli’s record? Appears impossible but the way he has been batting this season, he may just do it, who knows?

Rajasthan Royals face the in-form team Gujarat Titans in the Final.

Former Sri Lanka’s superb batsman Kumar Sangakkara was effusive in his praise for Buttler’s effortless batsmanship. He said, “His ability to curb certain shots in certain situations, while being intuitive about the team’s needs, makes him stand out.”

Remembering Shane Warne, Person of the Match Buttler said, “Shane Warne has been such an influential figure for Rajasthan Royals. We will miss him dearly.

“I came to the season with very low expectations but a lot of energy. It is very exciting to play in the Final. I had a season of two halves, and had very honest conversations with people really close to me. I was feeling the pressure midway and it was only about a week ago that I opened up about it. It helped me and I went to Kolkata with a freer mind.

“Sometimes it is not working for me, and there are times when a younger me would have played a shot and come out. But it’s something that Sangakkara has been saying that the longer you stay, you give yourselves a chance to find a way. Great excitement to have the opportunity to play in the Final of the biggest tournament in T20 cricket.”

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