The three-time IPL champions Mumbai's match against Rajasthan Royals on Saturday in the IPL 2019 was their 200th appearance in the T20s. They added 60 runs for the first wicket before Mumbai Indians drew the first blood.
The Englishman struck eight boundaries and seven sixes, collecting 28 off Mumbai's young Antiguan recruit, Alzarri Joseph's over as the latter leaked 53 in three overs.
Rajasthan's chase could have been off to a disastrous start but Rohit failed to latch onto a tough chance off Rahane in the very first over, and the opener made most of the opportunity.
Buttler added 87 for the third wicket with Sanju Samson - he was trapped in front by Jasprit Bumrah for 31 - to keep the Royals on track. His opening partner Buttler too got striking nice and early with a couple of fours against Alzarri Joseph before carting Behrendorff for an effortless six over long-off.
Rahane further flexed his muscles when he hacked Joseph for two fours and a six in one over and did not even spare Jasprit Bumrah as Rajasthan accumulated 59 runs in the first six overs without losing a wicket. Archer missed his yorker by just an inch and Pandya swung his bat with all his might to send the ball deep into the stands at the Wankhede.
Buttler, however, remained unfazed by his captain's departure and, in fact, notched up a gear.
Spinners: There will be a toss-up between Shreyas Gopal and Rahul Chahar. Rajasthan reached their 100-run mark in 10 overs which also signaled Buttler's half-century off just 29 balls. He scored 89 from just 43 balls and left Royals at a commanding 147 for 2 in the 14th over. The wicketkeeper-batsman went on to play until the 19th over and notched 81 runs from 52 balls with six boundaries and four sixes.
But youngster Shreyas Gopal (not out at 13) kept his cool to take Rajasthan over the line. With regular skipper Rohit Sharma back in the playing XI, he opened the batting with de Kock and the two took the Royals bowling to the cleaners from the word go.
Pandya played the shot of the innings on the last ball of the penultimate over when he pulled off the helicopter shot for a maximum off the bowling of Joffra Archer. The run fest did not stop even after the fielding restrictions were relaxed with both batsmen finding boundaries in nearly every over.
When the going gets tough, Jos Buttler gets going. The visitors had something to celebrate when Rohit was dismissed by Joffa Archer after scoring 47 off just 32 balls.
Mumbai lost a bit of their way post Rohit's dismissal with the new batsmen finding it tough to hit their straps right away.