37th Match (N), Abu Dhabi, October 19, 2020, Indian Premier League

Royals won by 7 wickets (with 15 balls remaining)


Buttler, spinners help Royals climb up the table

Super Kings crashed to the bottom of the points table after another feeble effort with the bat

Deivarayan Muthu
Rajasthan Royals 126 for 3 (Buttler 70*, Smith 26*, Chahar 2-18) beat Chennai Super Kings 125 for 5 (Jadeja 35*, Gopal 1-14, Tewatia 1-18) by seven wickets
After legspinners Shreyas Gopal and Rahul Tewatia pinned down Chennai Super Kings to 125 for 5, Jos Buttler knocked them over to the bottom of the points table with a powerful 70 off 48 balls. Rajasthan Royals climbed to fifth place, boosting their chances of making the playoffs.
Earlier in the evening, Gopal and Tewatia didn't concede a single boundary and bowled 23 dots between them. All up, the Super Kings batsmen faced 51 dots and never got going in any shape or form.
Their seamers Deepak Chahar and Josh Hazlewood, though, got swing going and dismissed the Royals' top three within five overs. Steven Smith particularly struggled in the early exchanges, but Buttler showed his range, finishing the chase with seven wickets and 15 balls to spare, thereby improving their net run-rate as well.
CSK's sleepwalk
Jofra Archer ambled in, hit speeds north of 145kph, and regularly beat pinch-hitting opener Sam Curran's outside edge. Then, when Archer hit 150kph and the outside edge, Curran poked it past slip. After managing only eight off 13 balls against the rapid pace of Archer and Kartik Tyagi, Curran went searching for an escape route against Gopal, but the spinner clevely dangled a wrong'un away from his reach and had him holing out for 22 off 25 balls. At that point, the Super Kings were 53 for 3 in the ninth over, having lost Faf du Plessis and Shane Watson as well.
In the next over, Tewatia had Rayudu caught behind off a weak sweep with a front-of-the-hand flipper. MS Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja sleepwalked through the middle overs, and no Super Kings batsman tried to unsettle the two legspinners. The Super Kings went 50 balls without a boundary and although Jadeja helped end the drought with four fours, the Super Kings ended with the lowest score batting first this IPL.
Jos the Boss
While the Super Kings got only 13 fours, Buttler alone hit nine. While his captain Smith was barely striking at 75, Buttler nearly doubled that strike rate.
He got cracking with a reverse-sweep over point off Jadeja's first over. Neither Jadeja nor Piyush Chawla, who was introduced into the attack only in the 13th over, found as much grip and turn as the Royals' spinners had done. Having seen off testing spells from Chahar and Hazlewood, Buttler laid into Shardul Thakur and Chawla, taking them for 48 off 27 balls.
Buttler raised his fifty off 37 balls by depositing Chawla's wrong'un for six and then rushed the Royals home.

Deivarayan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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