Snippets from Jos Buttler’s stunner today. (PC: IPLT20.com)
Rajasthan Royals wicketkeeper-batter Jos Buttler on Saturday once again proved why he’s one of the best fielders in the world, even without the gloves.
Against Punjab Kings (PBKS) in IPL 2022 at the Wankhede Stadium, the Englishman grabbed a superb one-handed catch to help take the crucial wicket of Shikhar Dhawan.
The Kings won the toss and opted to bat first. Dhawan looked slightly jittery but he and Jonny Bairstow managed to reach 46/0 in the first five overs.
The left-hander was at 12 (15) when Sanju Samson brought off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who has a brilliant record against lefties, to bowl the final over of the powerplay.
Ashwin, perhaps anticipating that Dhawan would like to step out to the spinners, kept the ball at a short-of-good length and around the middle stump. The batter did step out and while he didn’t get the timing right, it had enough in it to clear the in-field.
Generally, such shots go over mid-on and reach the boundary. But Buttler didn’t allow that. He ran back and across and timed his jump to perfection to pluck it almost with the back of his hand.
The momentum took him to the ground, but the 31-year-old clutched onto it strongly. You can watch it here:
The wicket reduced Punjab to 47/1, restoring the balance of the match. By taking the catch, Buttler also ensured that Dhawan, ranked third in the Orange Cap rankings and around 200 runs behind him, didn’t come any closer.
Punjab build back after Jos Buttler’s stunner
Punjab’s rebuilding efforts began immediately after the wicket. Bhanuka Rajapaksa came in to bat at No. 3 and played a quickfire cameo of 27 (18), even with Bairstow continuing his attack from the other end.
Rajapaksa was bowled by Yuzvendra Chahal which brought skipper Mayank Agarwal to the crease.
Playing in an atypical position, Agarwal has started well and Bairstow is close to his half-century. It’s building up to be another brilliant match between the two sides.
You can catch the live proceedings here.