Hyderabad, India: England's Jos Buttler hit a scintillating half-century to help the Rajasthan Royals hammer Sunrisers Hyderabad by 72 runs in their opening match of the Indian Premier League on Sunday.
Buttler's 22-ball 54 led the team's batting onslaught as they posted 203-5, and then their bowlers restricted hosts Hyderabad to 131-8 in the first match of the day.
Leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal returned figures of 4-17 after pace spearhead Trent Boult struck twice in his first over.
Buttler and his opening partner Yashasvi Jaiswal - who also made 54 - had provided an explosive start to last year's runners-up and the inaugural IPL champions.
Skipper Sanju Samson also joined in the charge with his powerful 55 before he departed in the 19th over and Shimron Hetmyer finished off the innings with his unbeaten 22.
Buttler was the leading batsman in the last IPL season with 863 runs including four centuries, and he then led England to a T20 World Cup triumph in 2022.
He reached his fifty in 20 balls before being bowled by Afghanistan left-arm pace bowler Fazalhaq Farooqui inside the sixth over.
Samson soon took charge then with Jaiswal for company as they piled on the runs.
Hyderabad were never in the chase after Boult bowled Abhishek Sharma for a duck and then Jason Holder clung on to a superb catch at slip to send back Rahul Tripathi.
Wickets kept tumbling, including Harry Brook (13) and Glenn Phillips (8). Getting in big-hitter Abdul Samad as an "impact player" only reduced the margin of loss as he hit an unbeaten 32.
The impact player, who can only be an Indian unless the team has fewer than four overseas players in their XI, is chosen from one of five substitutes listed with the team.