Jos Buttler produced a batting masterclass as Rajasthan beat Chennai by four wickets at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium to stay alive in IPL 2018 on Friday.
In pursuit of 177, Rajasthan's chase looked in bad shape with 28 runs needed in the last two overs. Krishnappa Gowtham, however, rose to the occasion and hit David Willey for two sixes to bring the equation down to 12 off the last over.
Buttler did the rest in the Dwayne Bravo over as RR got over the line in 19.5 overs. It was their fifth win in 11 games. CSK, on the other hand, tasted their fourth defeat in 11 games.
Buttler remained unbeaten on 95 off 60 balls (11x4s, 2x6s) to seal the deal for RR. It was his fourth successive fifty for the Jaipur-based team this season. Bangalore's Virat Kohli had achieved that feat in 2016. Virender Sehwag had scored five successive fifties for Delhi in 2012.
Earlier in the day after opting to bat, Chennai fell at least 15-20 runs of what they should have got in light of a brilliant second-wicket stand.
CSK lost the in-form Ambati Rayudu early for 12 to West Indian Jofra Archer but after that Shane Watson and Suresh Raina batted brilliantly to bring the team back on track. Both looked in sublime touch and added 86 runs without much trouble. Things looked ominous for the hosts.
At 105/1 in 11.2 overs, CSK would have backed themselves to get a total in the vicinity of 200.
However, Watson (39) and Raina (52 for his 34th fifty in IPL history) departed in quick succession and the new batsmen MS Dhoni and Sam Billings were comfortably checked by the Rajasthan bowlers. Both added 55 for the fourth wicket but also scoffed 40 balls and that greatly compromised CSK's innings towards the end.
Billings departed for 27 in the last over. Dhoni was unbeaten on 33 off 23 balls and for the first time this season failed to middle the ball in his trademark fashion. Archer was the pick of the RR bowlers with figures of 2/42. Economically, New Zealander Ish Sodhi (1/29) was the most miserly bowler from Rajasthan.
Those 15-20 extra runs which Chennai failed to get eventually proved to be the difference.