Rovman Powell played a game-changing cameo for the second match in a row to help Rajasthan Royals pull off a heist at the Eden Gardens on Tuesday. He scored 16 runs off Sunil Narine’s 17th over as the Royals went on to equal the highest successful run-chase in the history of the Indian Premier League.

Kolkata Knight Riders’ Narine was yet to concede a boundary from two games at home in IPL 2024. With the Royals needing 62 off 24 balls, Powell deposited Narine in the stands twice and scored a boundary to change the course of the match.

Powell’s 26 off just 13 balls played a huge role in the Royals closing the game off by two wickets. Powell came to the crease with 103 runs required off 46 balls and the Royals scored a record 96 in the last six overs, the highest in a successful chase in the IPL. Jos Buttler, meanwhile, led the charge with a century.

“I started taking down Sunil, their main bowler, and giving the guys the belief. If Sunil Narine can go for runs then anybody can go for runs. And that fuelled right through the group.

“I told Jos that I will try to hit a few sixes because he was not connecting and thereafter if I get out, he can take on the mantle to score those big sixes,” said Powell at the post-match press conference.

Powell had also starred in the Royals win over Punjab Kings last week scoring 11 of five balls. He walked in when the Royals were in a dicey situation and scored two consecutive boundaries in the penultimate over to keep the Royals in the game.

“While we go into the chase, if we have quality batters at the wicket, if we have power hitters and we need 45 or 50 off three overs we can definitely get it. You don’t look at the big picture and say 18 balls and 50 runs.

“If you look at that, your mind will always be clouded. All you need to do is look over by over and break it down into small parcels. If you go into the last over with your power hitters and you need 15 runs, then the pressure isn’t on the batting team, but on the bowlers,” explained Powell.

Powell also acknowledged that the communication from skipper Sanju Samson and the coaching staff has been very good and has fuelled the confidence and improved the mentality within the group.

“When you are winning from difficult positions, that also gives confidence. It is just that never-say-die attitude that guys have formed that is good for us,” said the West Indies T20 cricket team skipper.

Buttler scored his second century in a successful chase for the Royals in this IPL, third in total, and remained unbeaten on 107 off 60 balls. This was the Englishman’s seventh hundred in the IPL, the second-most by any player in the competition.

Buttler paced his innings well scoring 65 off 27 balls in the Royals’ last six overs to script one of the most memorable wins away from home. The 33-year-old Buttler looked in some discomfort in the later part of the innings but anchored the Royals chase for a second time this season after his unbeaten century against the Royals Challengers Bengaluru.

“It was a very good innings, very well calculated,” Powell summed up Buttler’s knock. “It was a world-class innings, he picked his bowlers, picked his time and when he was ready to score, he knew that he had to be the man to carry on the game for us.

“I have seen a lot of world-class T20 hundreds and this is definitely in the top five. To be on the winning side in a chase of 220 in a T20 game, with a rampant crowd at Eden Gardens leaves a special feeling in your mind,” quipped Powell.