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Ball-by-ball: How Royals and Buttler pulled off a heist at Eden Gardens

With 46 to get from three overs, KKR seemed to have the match in their hands, but Jos Buttler had other ideas

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) nearly had it in the bag. Sunil Narine's century had powered them to a commanding 223 for 6. Riyan Parag and Rovman Powell had kept the chase interesting, but once Narine removed Powell, Rajasthan Royals (RR) seemed down and out. With 46 to get from three overs and just three wickets in hand, Jos Buttler sprung to life with an innings for the ages to stun KKR and consolidate RR's top spot on the table. Here's how ESPNcricinfo's ball-by-ball commentary recorded the manic finish.
Starc to Buttler, SIX runs Full and right into the swinging arc, Buttler clears his front leg and tees off down town to clear the ropes.
Deep square comes in, point goes back
Starc to Buttler, 1 wide Slips this full delivery way outside off, left alone. Wide called
Starc to Buttler, no run Cut away to deep point
Starc to Buttler, 1 run, OUT Drilled to long-off, calls for two but they were never going to make it. Boult was very slow in turning around, but in all fairness there was never a second. Boult continued to run nonetheless to get Buttler back on strike. Must say it was an excellent return on the bounce from Iyer to the bowler.
Starc to Buttler, no run Attempts a reverse scoop as Starc slants it full and across, misses.
Starc to Buttler, FOUR runs Dug in short, Buttler takes on the short ball and manages to get enough bat on it to bisect square leg and short fine. Excellent anticipation from Buttler. This would've been signalled wide had he not got bat on it.
Starc to Buttler, 5 wide Reaches out to scythe this behind square, the keeper has fumbled, this one bursts through his gloves and runs away to the boundary. Five wides wrapped in a gift.
Starc to Buttler, 1 run Sensibly drives to deep cover point for a single. Royals need 28 off 12.
Harshit Rana to Buttler, SIX runs Heaved over deep midwicket! Deep into the stands. Buttler stays his ground and picks the bones out of this slower length ball.
Harshit Rana to Buttler, no run Full toss, belted straight to cover at the edge of the ring. Doesn't take the run.
Harshit Rana to Buttler, FOUR runs Harshit Rana may have thought for a second he'd done well to go yorker-length. Buttler uses the depth of the crease to take it on the full and shovel it down the ground to beat long-on.
Harshit Rana to Buttler, SIX runs Dug in short, Buttler pulls and clears a leaping Starc at deep square! Anticipated the short ball and was ready for it when it arrived. Hit it right off the middle. Flat hit to the bigger boundary.
Harshit Rana to Buttler, 2 runs Mistimes a heave into the leg side, they come back for the second as Starc loses his balance as he gets to the ball at deep square.
Harshit Rana to Buttler, 1 run Works it gently into the leg side as they take a quick single.
KKR are an over short and so can have only four fielders, as against five, outside the ring. Varun Chakravarthy to bowl the final over. KKR need to defend eight.
Varun to Buttler, SIX runs Dug into the pitch, Buttler goes back and thumps this over long-on. Also gets to his century as the Royals dug out applauds a sensational innings
Varun to Buttler, no run Flays this hard to long-off, refuses the single.
3 off 4
Varun to Buttler, no run Width outside off, crashes it to deep point. Keeps strike, so it's another dot ball.
Varun to Buttler, no run Finds the fielder as he reverse sweeps straight to short third. Good stop by Harshit
Varun to Buttler, 2 runs Gets a high full toss, Buttler thumps it to wide long-off, the throw from Starc is loopy and wide, Buttler somehow cobbles a second. He's exhausted, but somehow gets there.
Scores level
Varun to Buttler, 1 run Heaves it into the leg side, gets it past the infield and Royals have pulled off IPL's biggest run chase.
Jos Buttler can't feel his arms. He has no strength left. He is soaking wet, the jersey sticking to his body like a wet towel. He's barely able to walk back, but how satisfied will be, having helped Royals pull off a heist.
Buttler could barely strike the ball off the square in the first half of his innings, but the inherent belief that he could find his gears in the end kept him going. And when push came to shove, with the asking rate spiralling higher, he found his hitting range. Even as wickets kept tumbling, he held his own and saw off a sensational chase. Take a bow.