Buttler surge sees Royals to much-needed win

Getty Images

Jos Buttler powered Rajasthan Royals to a much-needed victory in the Indian Premier League, his unbeaten 70 inspiring a seven-wicket defeat of Chennai Super Kings.

The Royals had lost six of their last seven matches heading into a meeting with a CSK side that also started the day on six points from nine games.

CSK won the toss and their decision to bat first ultimately proved ill-advised, though Rajasthan initially laboured in pursuit of 126.

Buttler came to the crease with the Royals teetering on 28-3 in the fifth over and had to exercise patience alongside Steve Smith (26 not out) before being able to cut loose.

When he was able to get into his rhythm, Buttler produced his brilliant best, hitting seven fours and a pair of sixes in a 48-ball knock that helped Rajasthan move within two points of the top four

CSK earlier recovered from 56-4 to reach 125-5 thanks to a fifth-wicket stand between MS Dhoni (28) and Ravindra Jadeja (35 not out), however, a run out of the former by Jofra Archer and Sanju Samson proved key in keeping them under 130.


ARCHER EXCELS AGAIN

Archer has been outstanding for Rajasthan, adding to his reputation as one of the world's most fearsome fast bowlers in all formats.

He was excellent again on Monday, removing Faf du Plessis with the final ball of the third over and sending down 11 dot balls in his 1-20.

The England paceman ran out CSK skipper Dhoni to end an ominous partnership with Jadeja, though the Royals initially made heavy weather of a manageable chase.

BUTTLER LEADS ROYALS RESURGENCE

Though he and Smith had to deal with some concerted pressure early in their decisive stand of 98, Buttler eventually got his reward for frustrating the CSK attack.

His was an innings typically defined by precision and timing and a 15th over that saw Buttler hit England colleague Sam Curran for three successive fours effectively took the game away from CSK.

Rajasthan were left needing just 18 off the final five overs and there was to be no dramatic collapse, Jadeja falling over the boundary rope at long-on for Buttler's final six in the 17th over before Smith then hit the winning run.