Could you imagine going two full years without a Test hundred, only to get dismissed when you’re one run away from finally ending the rut? Well, Jos Buttler almost became ‘that man’ on Saturday, but a life-saving review on 99 helped him get the ton that has evaded him for 2 years.
Prior to today, 21 August, 2018 was the last instance of Jos Buttler getting to the three-figure-mark in Test cricket. There, he struck a wondrous ton in a losing cause against a strong Indian attack. A lot happened in his Test career after that. Bad things, mostly. He went 43 innings without a Test ton, he averaged just 30 with the bat across 20 Tests and he found himself at the centre of the criticism for his inconsistent displays.
So today you can imagine the kind of thoughts that must have gone through his head when he walked in to bat today, unbeaten on 87*. A couple of singles here and a couple of boundaries there took him to 99* - a dreaded number for any batsman - but one run away from finally getting to the ton that has evaded him for two years, disaster struck. With the keeper standing up to the stumps, Mohammad Abbas bowled a peach which moved away from the batsman in the very last moment and Buttler, swayed by the angle of the ball, (seemed to have) nicked the ball to the keeper.
“99 and out. The drought continues,” everyone thought. Well, not really. That is when Buttler, like they do in video games, decided to use a ‘life’. As soon as the umpire’s dreaded finger went up, the right-hander signalled for a review. Many, including the commentators, thought it was a desperate attempt at a review, and given there was a clear noise, the dressing room, too, didn’t know what to make of the review either.
However, astonishingly, the replays showed that the noise was in fact Buttler’s bat hitting his pad, and there was no contact between bat and ball. Just like that, Buttler’s life had been restored, and as the third umpire asked the on-field umpire to reverse the decision, every English player let out a huge sigh of relief. And, as fate had it, as if it was destiny for Buttler to get to his 2nd Test ton today, he swatted the very next ball through point to break his duck and get to three figures. So yes. DRS was a life saver for Buttler today - literally.
Buttler was given out on 99 and overturned the original decision by taking DRS
What a moment for Jos Buttler
DRS gave Buttler another chance to score his 100
It's was heartbroken for a moment when Jos was given out on 99 thanks to DRS & congratulations @josbuttler.— Roshan khadka (@rosankhadka16) August 22, 2020
Fantastic batting from Buttler, he'll undoubtedly keep in Sri Lanka.#englandcricket #century pic.twitter.com/i8mXXWt0L8
Thank you DRS
My heart in my mouth as Jos Buttler was was given out on 99 🥵 Phew- Thank God for DRS.. and he gets his second test hundred in the bag 😌👏✅ #ENGvPAK— Eisha Acton (@eisha_acton_) August 22, 2020
Second Test hundred for Jos Buttler.— Sai krishna V (@Sai6732) August 22, 2020
He was given out caught on 99 and DRS saved him.
DRS saved Buttler
Excellent knock Jos Buttler! 💯 Good job DRS proved not out on 99.— Madkopite ⚽ (@madjockopite) August 22, 2020
Brilliant from Buttler
Brilliant from Buttler to notch up his second Test ton. Brilliant from DRS to save him from a wrong decision at 99. #ENGvPAK— Shuβh Aggarwal (@shubh_chintak) August 22, 2020
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