Rajasthan Royals rode a heroic batting effort by Jos Buttler to edge out Chennai Super Kings (CSK) by four wickets in a nail-biting Indian Premier League (IPL) encounter at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur on Friday. Buttler batted through the innings to help Rajasthan overhaul a stiff 177-run target with just one ball to go. Having opened the Rajasthan along with England star Ben Stokes, Buttler continued to defy the CSK bowlers even as wickets fell at the other end. He remained unbeaten on 95 runs off just 60 balls, hitting 11 boundaries and a couple of sixes along the way. Despite the defeat, CSK continue to hold on to the second spot with 14 points from 11 matches. They trail league leaders Sunrisers Hyderabad by four points. Rajasthan are sixth on the 10-team table with 10 points from 11 matches. In an edge-of-the-seat affair that went right down to the wire, it was Buttler who gave the Rajasthan innings a powerful start by hitting David Willey for consecutive boundaries off the opening three balls. He hit Harbhajan Singh for two boundaries and a six in the next over.
A decent batting effort helped Chennai Super Kings (CSK) post a fighting total of 176/4 against Rajasthan Royals in an Indian Premier League (IPL) tie at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium. It was a fine knock by Suresh Raina (52 off 35 balls), followed by skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni's unbeaten 33 and opener Shane Watson's 39 runs which took the yellow brigade to a good total against the hosts. Opting to bat first, the visitors were off to a quick start as openers Ambati Rayudu and Watson accumulated 19 runs from the first two overs. However, the decent start was short-lived as Jofra Archer drew the first blood for the hosts, when a short-ball from him took an inside edge to shattered Rayudu's (12 off 9 balls) stumps in the third over. The opener's fall saw Raina joining Watson in the middle and the duo helped Chennai recover from the early blow taking their side past the 50-run mark in 5.1 overs. Both batmen further played sensibly and shared an 81-run partnership to help the yellow brigade cross 100-run mark in 11.1 overs. With the Australian all-rounder inching towards his half-centrury, Archer struck again in the 12th over to pack back a good looking Watson on 39 runs and Chennai's scorecard reading 105/2. On the other hand, Raina, who was then accompanied by skipper Dhoni, slammed his half century facing 32 balls however, the southpaw threw his wicket when he failed to read a googly by Ish Sodhi, giving an easy catch to Stuart Binny at short-fine leg. With Chennai at 119/3 in 13 overs, Dhoni and Sam Billings (27 off 22) forged a 55-run partnership off 39 balls to put back things in control. Billings departed in the final over while trying to take a single as wicket-keeper Jos Buttler's throw from behind demolised the Englishman's stump. Dhoni remained unbeaten on 33 runs facing 23 balls, hitting a boundary and a six to help his side reach a fighting total of 176 runs. For Rajasthan, Archer bagged couple of wickets but leaked 42 runs while Sodhi scalped one conceding 29 runs.Rajasthan Royals (RR) will aim to keep themselves alive in the Indian Premier League (IPL) when they take on a confident Chennai Super Kings (CSK) at the Sawai Man Singh Stadium. After a hat-trick of defeats, Rajasthan kept themselves afloat in the cash-rich league when they defeated Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) by 15 runs in their last game. The Ajinkya Rahane-led side, placed at the sixth spot in the points table with just eight points in their kitty, will need to come out with their best in a do-or-die game against the yellow brigade. Skipper Rahane will once again expect his team to get their act together and aim for consistency as they did against Punjab on Sunday. Rahane and Samson have been average while the inconsistent run of Ben Stokes has affected their performance this season. Stokes, the costliest buy in IPL auction 2018, has miserably failed to perform both with the bat and ball. (Play Fantasy Cricket & Win Cash Daily!)
Jos Buttler played a 58-ball 82 run knock to lift Rajasthan to 158 for eight against Punjab, a target which their bowlers defended. The English batsman has accumulated 320 runs from ten games averaging 35.55. Among the bowlers, young seamer Jofra Archer has done well to claim nine wickets from four matches while this IPL's costliest Indian buy Jaydev Unadkat has also been amongst the wickets. Spinner K. Gowtham, who has bagged eight wickets from ten matches, came out with an impressive performance in the last outing and will need to repeat the show as the Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led side has struggled against spinners this season. On the other hand, another win for Chennai will cement their place in the play-offs. The southern outfit is in red-hot form this season after seven wins from 10 games and will look to consolidate their position in the top two. (SCORECARD)
Chennai batters are in top form however, death-over bowling still remains a concern. Most of the batsmen -- Ambati Rayudu, Australian Shane Watson, West Indian Dwayne Bravo, skipper Dhoni and Suresh Raina -- have contributed whenever the team needed. Rayudu has batted well both as an opener and at number four, amassing 423 runs from 10 games. With 360 runs from 10 innings, Dhoni is placed seventh on the run-scorers list. Left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja, who struggled against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), emerged with a match-winning figure of 3/18 -- in a major relief for the team management. The pace attack will once again feature Lungi Ngidi, David Willey and Shardul Thakur. Depending on their terrific form, Chennai will once again be the favourites in Friday's clash, though a desperate Rajasthan will look to come out all guns blazing.
Chennai Super Kings: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (Captain/Wicket-keeper), Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, Faf du Plessis, Harbhajan Singh, Dwayne Bravo, Shane Watson, Ambati Rayudu, Deepak Chahar, KM Asif, Kanishk Seth, Lungi Ngidi, Dhruv Shorey, Murali Vijay, Sam Billings, Mark Wood, Kshitiz Sharma, Monu Kumar, Chaitanya Bishnoi, Imran Tahir, Karn Sharma, Shardul Thakur, N Jagadeesan, David Willey
Rajasthan Royals: Ajinkya Rahane (Captain), Ben Stokes, Stuart Binny, Sanju Samson (Wicket-keeper), Jos Buttler, Rahul Tripathi, D'Arcy Short, Krishnappa Gowtham, Jofra Archer, Dhawal Kulkarni, Jaydev Unadkat, Ankit Sharma, Anureet Singh, Shreyas Gopal, Prashant Chopra, Sudhesan Midhun, Ben Laughlin, Mahipal Lomror, Aryaman Birla, Jatin Saxena, Dushmantha Chameera, Heinrich Klaasen, Ish Sodhi
When and Where to Watch Rajasthan Royals (RR) vs Chennai Super Kings (CSK)
India: TV: Star Sports 1, Star Sports 1 HD (English, Hindi, Tamil). Live Streaming: Hotstar.
UK: TV: Sky Sports 2. Live Streaming: Sky Go and Watch Sky Sports.
Bangladesh: TV: GTV and Star Sports.
USA: TV: Willow TV. Live Streaming: Willow TV Live Online.
Australia: TV: Fox Sports. Live Streaming: Foxtel.
New Zealand: TV: Sky Sport 1. Live Streaming: Sky Go NZ.
South Africa: TV: SuperSport 2. Live Streaming: SuperSport Live Video.
Middle East: TV: OSN Sports Cricket. Live Streaming: OSN Play.
Singapore: TV: Star Cricket.