Kane Williamson's ascension to captain of the Indian Premier League's Sunrisers Hyderabad has failed to find instant success.
Jos Buttler's first Twenty20 century propelled Rajasthan Royals to an imposing 55-run victory over a depleted Sunrisers Hyderabad team.
Williamson, taking over the captaincy from David Warner, couldn't change Hyderabad's fortunes with the team still on just one win out of seven games at the halfway stage of the tournament.
Buttler's powerful hitting in the latter half of the Rajasthan innings saw the Englishman score an unbeaten 124 off 64 balls as he rocketed his team's total to 220-3.
Hyderabad, which dropped Warner, always lagged behind the huge target and finished at 165-8. Left-arm fast bowler Mustafizur Rahman picked up 3-20 while multi-million dollar signing Chris Morris took 3-29 for Rajasthan.
"It's a small ground, the more balls you face you can capitalize in the end," Buttler said. "We haven't played our best cricket, hopefully for myself and the team we can kick on in the back half of the tournament."
Buttler expertly navigated Hyderabad's move to use ace leg-spinner Rashid Khan (1-24) within the first 11 overs of the innings. Buttler watchfully played out the spinner and raised his half century off 40 balls with four boundaries and two sixes.
Buttler shared an impressive 150-run stand with captain Sanju Samson (48) before the latter was caught on the edge of the boundary at long-off in the 17th over.
Once Khan bowled his quota, Buttler scored freely against Hyderabad's fast bowlers, scoring his last 74 runs off only 25 balls, hitting seven boundaries and six sixes in the process. Fast bowler Sandeep Sharma eventually clean bowled him in the penultimate over, but not before Buttler smacked the fast bowler for three sixes in the same over.
Rajasthan kept taking wickets at regular intervals once Manish Pandey (31) and Jonny Bairstow (30) saw off the batting powerplay by putting on a 57-run opening-wicket stand.
Williamson (20) was well deceived by Kartik Tyagi and holed out in the deep in the 13th over before Mustafizur returned and claimed the Afghanistan duo of Mohammad Nabi and Khan.
Rajasthan is fifth with three wins from seven games.
"It was a tough day and a very competitive total from Rajasthan," Williamson said. "We've had a number of challenges over the last three weeks, but we keep fronting up and make adjustments."