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PICS: Buttler, Smith keep Royals in race with win over CSK

Last updated on: October 19, 2020 23:58 IST
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Images from Monday's IPL match between Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals, in Abu Dhabi. 

Rajasthan Royals batsmen Jos Buttler and Steven Smith walk back with Chennai Super Kings skipper Mahendra Dhoni after clinching victory in the IPL match in Abu Dhabi on Monday.

IMAGE: Rajasthan Royals batsmen Jos Buttler and Steven Smith walk back with Chennai Super Kings skipper Mahendra Dhoni after clinching victory in the IPL match in Abu Dhabi on Monday. Photograph: BCCI/IPL

Rajasthan Royals overcame early setbacks to get the better of Chennai Super Kings by seven wickets in a low-scoring Indian Premier League match, in Abu Dhabi, on Monday.

 

Chasing a modest 126 for victory, the 2008 champions were reeling at 28 for 3 by the fifth over, but Jos Buttler and skipper Steven Smith played cautiously in a 98 runs fourth-wicket partnership to steer them home with 2.3 overs to spare.

Jos Buttler celebrates after completing his half-century.

IMAGE: Jos Buttler celebrates after completing his half-century. Photograph: BCCI/IPL

Buttler hit two sixes and seven fours in his 70 off 48 balls, while Smith adopted the safe approach, consuming 34 balls for his 26 that was studded with just two fours.

The victory took Rajasthan Royals to fifth in the points table with eight from 10 matches and kept their play-off hopes alive, while Chennai Super Kings stay put at the bottom with six from 10.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni takes the catch to dismiss Sanju Samson off Deepak Chahar's bowling.

IMAGE: Mahendra Singh Dhoni takes the catch to dismiss Sanju Samson off Deepak Chahar's bowling. Photograph: BCCI/IPL

Buttler also had an excellent day in the field, dismissing Faf du Plessis with an incredible catch earlier in the evening.

Early wickets were the need of the hour for Chennai Super Kings while defending such a low total and the Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led side achieved that end by reducing the Royals to 28 for three inside five overs.

Jos Buttler hits a six

IMAGE: Jos Buttler hits a six. Photograph: BCCI/IPL

Ben Stokes (19) started on a bright note before inside-edging a Deepak Chahar delivery on to his stumps.

Then, an over later, Robin Uthappa (4 off 9 balls) was sent back by Josh Hazzlewood, the right-hander going for an extravagant scoop and getting caught by wicketkeeper Dhoni, who was playing his 200th IPL game.

After shining early in the tournament, Sanju Samson again disappointed with the bat, departing for a duck.

However, Buttler and Smith joined hands and played cautiously. While the former was the aggressor, Smith played second fiddle in the partnership, eschewing the big shots, to see the team trough.

Sanju Samson runs out Mahendra Singh Dhoni

IMAGE: Rajasthan Royals wicketkeeper Sanju Samson runs out Chennai Super Kings skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Photograph: BCCI/IPL

Earlier, Rajasthan Royals produced a fine bowling effort to restrict the three-time champions, who elected to bat, to a modest 125 for five.

Opting to bat, Chennai Super Kings never got going and lacked the fire power to put up a decent score after being reduced to 56 for four in 10 overs.

Rajasthan Royals players celebrate the wicket of Faf du Plessis

IMAGE: Rajasthan Royals players celebrate the wicket of Faf du Plessis. Photograph: BCCI/IPL

Ravindra Jadeja top-scored for them with a 30-ball unbeaten 35 and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, playing in his 200th IPL game, made a run-a-ball 28 while adding 51 runs for the fifth wicket.

Jofra Archer (1 for 20) was terrific with the new ball, but would be disappointed with his outing on the field.

Shreyas Gopal celebrates after dismissing Ambati Rayudu

IMAGE: Shreyas Gopal celebrates after dismissing Ambati Rayudu. Photograph: BCCI/IPL

Besides Archer, the spin duo of Shreyas Gopal (1 for 14) and Rahul Tewatia (1 for 18) were economical in the middle overs, while young Kartik Tyagi (1 for 35) too was impressive.

Dhoni's decision to bat first backfired as Rajasthan Royals picked wickets at regular intervals to make life difficult for the Super Kings.

They lost the in-form Faf du Plessis (10) in the third over, caught by Jos Buttler off Archer, and then an over later, Shane Watson was sent back by Kartik.

Ravindra Jadeja plays the sweep shot

IMAGE: Ravindra Jadeja plays the sweep shot. Photograph: BCCI/IPL

Opening the batting again, Sam Curran scored 22 off 25 balls before being dismissed by Gopal.

After that, a lot depended on Ambati Rayudu, but he too disappointed, perishing in the next over off Tewatia's bowling as Chennai Super Kings slumped to 56 for four.

Dhoni and Jadeja tried their best to revive the innings and up the ante, but their efforts proved too little too late.

Dhoni was run-out in search of a double in the 18th over.

Kedar Jadhav continued to struggle with the bat as the Rajasthan bowlers did not allow the Chennai batsmen any leeway.

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