Chennai Super Kings 176-4 (Suresh Raina 52, Shane Watson 39, Jofra Archer 2-42) lost to Rajasthan Royals 177-6 in 19.5 overs (Jos Buttler 95*) by 4 wickets
Jos Buttler anchored a tricky chase to perfection as Rajasthan Royals beat Chennai Super Kings by four wickets in a thrilling encounter to keep their play-off hopes alive in the Indian Premier League at Jaipur on Friday.
Chasing a target of 177, Buttler struck his fourth successive half-century, a 60 ball 95 studded with 11 fours and two sixes as Rajasthan reached the target will a ball to spare. They now have 10 points from 11 games.
CSK on the other hand, couldn’t clinch their play-off berth and MS Dhoni’s frustration at his bowlers faltering at the death was once again evident. Needing 12 off the last over, Buttler smacked Dwayne Bravo’s fourth delivery over mid-wicket for a six and then scampered home for a double to finish the match.
Having scored 50 off 26 balls, Buttler did struggle in the middle overs but kept going and took the game deep before finishing off in style. The two sixes hit by Krishnappa Gowtham off David Willey in the penultimate over also helped the home side.
Buttler’s blazing blade created a lot of damage in the initial overs as he hit a flurry of boundaries and sixes. He started with three boundaries off countryman Willey’s over.
There was a six over long-off Harbhajan Singh along with a backfoot punch through mid-wicket. Ben Stokes (11) at the other end was looking to end the struggle in his role as an opener before he was bowled middle-stump trying to give Harbhajan the charge.
Skipper Ajinkya Rahane (4) was foxed by Ravindra Jadeja and the catch was taken at slip by Suresh Raina after it bounced off Dhoni’s gloves. But after the first four overs when CSK conceded 48 runs, and it was Dhoni who made some good bowling changes in his bid to slow the pace of the game.
It worked as in the next seven overs, only 51 runs were scored. Jadeja (1/28 in 4 overs) did impressed along with the ever-improving Shardul Thakur (1/22 in 4 overs) and Dwayne Bravo, as Buttler failed to maintain the momentum after the initial overs.
Sanju Samson (21) was run-out after a horrible mix-up while debutant Prashant Chopra (8) hit a couple of boundaries before failing to pick a slower from Shardul. Shardul bowled a total of 14 dot balls in his spell.
Man of the Match: Jos Buttler, for his match-winning 95 not out.