David Warner had joked before his Indian Premier League big-hitting duel with Jos Buttler that his children had been pestering him about why he couldn’t knock the ball out the park like the Englishman.
They were probably still asking dad the same question on Friday night after Buttler smashed his third century of the season to power Rajasthan Royals to a 15-run victory over Warner’s Delhi Capitals.
Buttler, who hit nine sixes and nine fours in a blistering knock of 116 off 65 balls, proved a hard act to follow but Warner did at last crack a spirited 28 off 14 balls in Delhi’s reply.
But the latest Buttler masterpiece in Rajasthan’s imposing total of 2-222 was somewhat overshadowed by a controversial last over that marred their victory as Delhi were limited to 8-207.
Rajasthan fast bowler Prasidh Krishna, who got rid of Warner, had stood out in a game dominated by batters and grabbed 3-22 before Rovman Powell raised Delhi hopes in the last over with a maximum 36 runs needed.
Powell slammed Obed McCoy for three successive sixes with the third one flying over midwicket off a hip-high delivery.
However, on-field umpire Nitin Menon didn’t think it was a waist-high no ball which left Delhi furious.
One of Delhi’s coaching staff even ran onto the field and argued with the umpires as the game was delayed for several minutes by a heated argument.
When play finally resumed, McCoy conceded just two runs on the next two deliveries before dismissing Powell off the last delivery.
“I thought the no ball could have been precious for us,” Delhi captain Rishabh Pant said.
“I thought we could have checked that no ball, but it’s not in my control. Yes, disappointed, but can’t do much about it.”
When asked whether it was right for a Delhi coaching staff member to challenge the umpire’s decision on the field, Pant said: “It wasn’t right, but what happened with us was also not right.
“It was just the heat of the moment, can’t do much about it.”
Pant believed if that third McCoy delivery was declared a no ball, his team could have won.
“I thought we could have done pretty well from there,” he said.
“It hurts more when you go so close, especially in a match when the other team has scored 220 runs. … I can only tell them to have their chin up.”
Rajasthan raised this IPL’s highest total thanks to a brilliant 155-run opening stand between Buttler and Devdutt Padikkal, who scored 54. Skipper Sanju Samson added an unbeaten 46 off just 19 balls.
Buttler’s exhilarating knock ended in the penultimate over when he was caught by Warner at long on off Mustafizur Rahman.