Jos Buttler Stars In Rajasthan Royals’ Win Over Chennai Super Kings

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New Delhi:  Jos Buttler’s unbeaten 95 off 60 balls laced with 11 fours and two sixes helped Rajasthan Royals stay alive in the race for the play-offs with a thrilling four-wicket win over Chennai Super Kings at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium.

Buttler, who had scores of 67,51 and 82 before this match, became the second batsman after Virat Kohli to hit four consecutive fifties and the right-hander started off by smoking three consecutive boundaries off David Willey. The 27-year-old targeted off-spinner Harbhajan Singh by glancing a flatter ball to the fine leg boundary, reverse sweeping a short ball to the third man fence and clobbering a lofted shot over long on for his first six.

Ben Stokes (11), promoted to open the batting for the first time, hit a six and four off Harbhajan before getting bowled as he missed a slog. Ajinkya Rahane (4) edged Ravindra Jadeja to slip and Chennai Super Kings had regained the initiative. Buttler reached his landmark off just 25 balls but Sanju Samson was run-out for 21.

Rajasthan Royals lost some quick wickets towards the closing stages but two big sixes by Krishnappa Gowtham off Willey in the 19th over swung the momentum back to the Royals. With 12 needed off the last over, Buttler smashed a six off Dwayne Bravo in the last over to seal a thrilling win with one ball to spare.

Earlier, Chennai Super Kings chose to bat and were boosted by Suresh Raina’s third fifty and some fine hitting from MS Dhoni (33*) and Sam Billings (27) to reach 176/4.

Raina, who came in early after the wicket of Ambati Rayudu (12), started off with two boundaries off Jofra Archer. On 15, Raina overtook Virat Kohli to become the leading run-getter in the history of the IPL. Raina fell for 52 as he top-edged a sweep shot off a Sodhi googly to be caught at short fine leg

The next four overs yielded just 23 runs as Rajasthan Royals bowlers used variations cleverly. However, the Royals bowlers, in particular Archer and Jaydev Unadkat, did not help by bowling too many wides as the team conceded 10 of them. Dhoni and Billings ensured Chennai Super Kings reached a total but on a special day, it took a Buttler special to give Rajasthan Royals the belief.

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