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Scorecard | As it happened
Buttler heroics helped the home side chase down the competitive 177-run target with a ball to spare. CSK also stayed at second in the points table with 14 points as they suffered their fourth defeat of the season.
IPL 2018 Points Table
Needing 28 off final 12 balls, Krishnappa Gowtham smacked two sixes to score 13 off 4 balls, before he was caught behind in the final ball of the penultimate over bowled by David Willey. It changed the equation to 12 off final over bowled by Dwayne Bravo. After playing a dot, Buttler scored couple of doubles before hitting a huge six over mid-wicket to make it 2 off 2 balls, which he completed in the next ball.
Buttler gave Royals run chase a flying start as he smacked Willey for three consecutive fours off first three balls. Buttler topped that with a six and two fours off Harbhajan Singh to take Royals to 27/0 in two overs.
Ben Stokes (11) joined the charge with a four and a six in consecutive balls off Harbhajan in the fourth over, but the veteran off-spinner clean bowled the Englishman in the next ball. Four balls later, Ravindra Jadeja gave Royals a big blow by dismissing their skipper Ajinkya Rahane (4) to reduce the hosts to 53/2 in 4.4 overs.
But Buttler maintained a good scoring rate by hitting regular boundaries and added 46 runs with in-form Sanju Samsom for the third wicket.
In the eighth over, Buttler reached fifty off just 26 balls, his fourth in a row, with the help of a six and eight fours. The duo took Royals to 88/2 at the halfway mark, making the equation – 89 off 60 balls.
But the partnership ended on an unfortunate note as Samson was run out for 21 (off 22 balls) in the 12th over. Shardul Thakur (1/22) removed debutant Prashant Chopra (8) in the next over to jolt the Royals as the home side reached 109/4 in 12.4 overs.
It became difficult for Royals batsmen to score runs during the business end of the chase. When Bravo dismissed Stuart Binny in the 18th over, Royals needed 31 more off 14 balls. Binny (22 off 17 balls) added a steady 37 runs in five overs with Buttler as they took Royals to 146/5 in 17.4 overs.
Earlier, Suresh Raina struck his 34th half-century in IPL as CSK posted a competitive 176/4. CSK’s most consistent performer over the years, Raina struck 52 off 35 balls with the help of six boundaries and a six, adding 86 runs for the second wicket with veteran Shane Watson (39 off 31 balls).
The duo provided the platform for skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni to launch a final assault smashing 33 off 23 balls in company of Sam Billings (27 off 22 balls). The duo added 55 runs in 6.4 overs to take the team’s total past 175-run mark.
For Royals, Jofra Archer (2/42 in 4 overs) was the most successful bowler even though he got hit towards the end. Leg-spinner Ish Sodhi (1/29 in 4 overs) was the most impressive as he got Raina with a googly which the southpaw tried to slog sweep against the turn.
CSK’s top run-getter Ambati Rayudu (12) started off with a couple of boundaries before being played on off Archer to a delivery that was kicking up from back of the length.
However, Raina batted in his inimitable style along with Watson as they scored runs at a comfortable pace. Raina started by clipping Archer off his pads to the square leg boundary. In the same over, he got his second boundary with a square drive.
In the next over, he got a couple of more boundaries with a cut and a cover drive off Gowtham. The fifth boundary was a short arm pull over mid-wicket off Ben Stokes.
With Powerplay overs yielding 55 runs, there was a period when CSK did’t get a boundary for 21 balls before Ish Sodhi’s over (ninth of the innings) helped the duo break shackles. Watson pulled a Sodhi half-tracker over deep mid-wicket for a six while Raina slog swept the bowler for same result in that particular over, which fetched 16 runs.
Watson was finally taken by Archer, who bowled a short one that got big on the batsman and his attempted pull-shot went high up in the air before Jos Buttler caught it. Once Raina was gone, Dhoni and Billings did their bit to take CSK to a reasonable total.
Brief Scores: Rajasthan Royals 177/6 in 19.5 overs (Jos Buttler 95*; Shardul Thakur 1/22) beat Chennai Super Kings 176/4 (Suresh Raina 52; Jofra Archer 2/42) by four wickets