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IPL: Buttler leads Rajasthan to exciting victory

IANS  |  Jaipur 

Royals rode a heroic batting effort by to edge out (CSK) by four wickets in a nail-biting (IPL) encounter at the here on Friday.

Buttler batted through the innings to help overhaul a stiff 177-run target with just one ball to go.

Having opened the innings 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. league leaders Sunrisers by four points. Rajasthan are eighth in 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 for consecutive boundaries off the opening three balls. He hit Harbhajan Singh for two boundaries and a six in the next over.

was also in good touch at the other end and seemed set to end his run of lean form when he hit Harbhajan Singh for a six over mid-wicket in the fourth over.

But the veteran off-spinner had his revenge in the very next ball when the Englishman went for another big hit but the incoming delivery managed to find the gap between bat and pad to disturb the stumps.

Ravindra Jadeja then dismissed Rajasthan in the next over to put Chennai in the driver's seat.

Buttler and Sanju Samson then tried to steady the innings, adding 45 runs between them off the next seven overs before the latter was run out following a horrible mix-up.

then handed an easy catch to at short mid-wicket off a rather ordinary delivery from Shardul Thakur as Chennai gradually started to gain the upper hand.

also failed to last long as Chennai seemed destined for another win.

With 28 runs needed off 12 deliveries, it was who gave the chase some much needed momentum with a power packed innings that produced 13 runs off just four balls. All those runs came in the penultimate over as he smashed Willey for two sixes.

But a careless shot saw him hand an easy top edge to behind the stumps off the last ball of the over as the visitors seemed to take the upper hand once again going into the final over.

All that changed in the nail biting last over. Fittingly, it was Buttler who hit the winning runs.

With 10 runs needed off the last four deliveries, the visitors missed a great chance when Buttler tried to hit for a six but the ball skied up off the toe end of the bat.

But there was no one to in position to take the catch as Buttler ran for two runs. The England star punished the visitors for that dropped chance with a six into the stands beyond the mid-wicket boundary.

An overthrow in the next ball allowed him to complete the victory as the erupted in celebration.

Earlier, a decent batting effort helped CSK post a fighting total of 176/4.

It was a fine knock by (52 off 35 balls), followed by 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 and Watson accumulated 19 runs from the first two overs.

However, the decent start was short-lived as Jofra 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, 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 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 at short-fine leg.

With Chennai at 119/3 in 13 overs, Dhoni and (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, bagged couple of wickets but leaked 42 runs while Sodhi scalped one conceding 29 runs.

Brief Scores:

Chennai Super Kings: 176/4 in 20 overs (52, 39; Jofra Archer 2/42) vs Rajasthan Royals: 177/6 in 19.5 overs (95 not out, 22).



(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, May 12 2018. 00:24 IST