A superb unbeaten 70 from Jos Buttler could not stop Rajasthan Royals falling to a four-wicket defeat against Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League on Tuesday.
The England batsman and Rajasthan opener's 47-ball innings helped his team reach 169-3 in their 20 overs at Wankhede Stadium, with Devdutt Padikkal (37) and Shimron Hetmyer (42 not out) also making decent contributions.
And Bangalore looked in trouble at 87-5 after 13 overs but Shahbaz Ahmed (45) and Dinesh Karthik (44 not out) helped flip the game on its head and push their team to victory with five balls to spare in Mumbai – handing Rajasthan their first defeat of this year's IPL.
“I made a conscious effort to do justice to myself,” player of the match Dinesh Karthik said after the match. “I felt I could have done better in the last few years.
“The way I've trained has been different. I was telling myself I'm not done yet. I have a goal and I want to achieve something.
“I've made an effort to play white-ball cricket, practice matches and scenarios. Those are the hours you put in when no one sees. The real work is done in the lead-up, which is what I'll give credit to.”
Earlier, Buttler – who made 100 in the team's previous win over five-time champions Mumbai Indians – and Hetmyer, whose knock came off 31 deliveries, boosted Bangalore's total.
The right-left batting pair put on an unbeaten stand off 83 for the fourth wicket as they plundered 42 runs off the final two overs after being put into bat. Buttler raised his 50 with a hit over the fence and smashed six sixes in his innings. He also put on a key stand of 70 with Padiakkal.
In reply, skipper Faf du Plessis and Anuj Rawat started strongly with an opening stand of 55 before Yuzvendra Chahal broke through to send back the veteran South African out for 29.
Chahal then ran out of Virat Kohli, for five, at the non-striker's end and bowled David Willey with his next ball.
But Karthik and Shahbaz had other ideas as the pair produced an attacking partnership of 67 to give Bangalore, who hunt for their maiden IPL title, their second successive win.
“I can't pinpoint a moment [when the game was lost],” admitted Rajasthan captain Sanju Samson, whose team had beaten Sunrisers Hyderabad and Mumbai Indians in their previous two matches.
“It was a great effort to put in that total, after losing the toss. Think it was a respectable score, but when the dew is coming up … I think it's a great effort by my team.
“As a bowling unit you like to take your time and set your fields. There are a lot of positives to take, and we can learn a lot of things, too.”