A Jos Buttler special helped Rajasthan Royals stay afloat in the tournament as they beat Chennai Super Kings by four wickets at the Sawai Man Singh Stadium in Jaipur. Buttler slammed 14 off the final over and remained unbeaten on a 60-ball 95 to take Rajasthan home.
Earlier, Suresh Raina's half-century and MS Dhoni’s late cameo took Chennai to a par total on a sluggish wicket. While Buttler’s flamboyant knock completely stole the limelight, Raina and Co did dominate proceedings for a large portion of the match.
Here, we rate the players on a scale of 1-10:
Suresh Raina - 10/10
The Chennai Super Kings’ No 3 batsman finally came into his own with a classic half-century, studded with some eye-catching shots in the Powerplay. The 16 balls faced by Raina in the Powerplay was bludgeoned for 29 runs and it gave Chennai Super Kings the momentum required to build a solid total.
Jos Buttler - 10/10
The swashbuckling opener continued his terrific run at the top of the order with another stunning knock that might not only save Rajasthan from being knocked out but also give them some much needed confidence boost to pull together their season. The 95-run knock included two sixes and 11 fours with 14 runs plundered off the last over to take them over the line.
Shane Watson - 9/10
The Australian all-rounder had slammed a hundred last time these two sides met, but on a two-paced wicket at Jaipur, Watson couldn't quite get going. To his credit, though, he played a perfect second fiddle to Raina. The 31-ball 39 was a bit un-Watson like innings but it fit well into Chennai's plans.
Shardul Thakur - 9/10
Thakur went for a measly 5.5 runs per over even as his teammates were leather hunting owing to a Buttler-show at Jaipur. The vastly improved seam bowler continued to impress with his variations and yorkers and put a leash on Rajasthan's scoring rate.
MS Dhoni - 9/10
On a slow surface, the team needs MS Dhoni down the order. Building on the Watson-Raina partnership, Dhoni stuck into Rajasthan Royals, much like he has done to other teams throughout the tournament. His 23-ball 33 gave Chennai a final push towards a decent total.
Sam Billings - 7/10
After a match-winning knock early in the season, Billings hasn't had much to do with Chennai's batting line-up doing incredibly well. But with Dhoni needing some company from the other end, Billings stayed put to make 27. Although it did help Dhoni in a way, one feels he could have gone at a bigger strike rate than the 123.
Jofra Archer - 7/10
Jofra Archer can be considered a tad unlucky on Friday after a rather harsh wide call (off a free hit) against him. The carried over free hit resulted in another boundary and completed a messed up over, although, it had begun with the prized wicket of Ambati Rayudu. Archer added the wicket of Watson to his name but conceded at over 10 an over.
Ravindra Jadeja - 7/10
The left-arm spinner held his own even as Buttler took on his colleagues for a tour guide of the Jaipur stadium. He grabbed the wicket of Ajinkya Rahane with a corker that turned square and caught the edge of the Rajasthan skipper's bat. He conceded at just seven an over in four tidy overs of spin.
Ish Sodhi - 6/10
The leg-break bowler has been a huge relief for Ajinkya Rahane, who was in the hunt for a few tight overs in the middle period. He went at a miserly rate of less than four last game and although he didn't quite replicate that, his just-over-seven economy and a crucial wicket of Raina did peg Chennai back.
Stuart Binny - 6/10
With Rajasthan Royals just managing to survive courtesy Buttler, Stuart Binny walked in and relieved some pressure off the England batsman with a 17-ball 22. His knock helped Rajasthan get closer to the target after a rather dry middle period.
Sanju Samson - 5/10
The stylish Samson has fallen down the pecking order for future wicket-keepers after Ishan Kishan's blistering knock and Rishabh Pant's merciless onslaught against Sunrisers Hyderabad. Samson has just two half-centuries in the last eight innings and while the free flow is associated with his batting stays, he hasn't quite racked up enough runs.
Jaydev Unadkat - 4/10
Unadkat used his variations cleverly but was taken for 18 runs in the final two overs he bowled. He was bought with an aim of picking up wickets, particularly at the death, with his cutters and slower balls, however, that never quite materialised.
Ben Stokes - 4/10
The all-rounder was pushed up to open the innings alongside Jos Buttler to make use of the Powerplay, but couldn't get going and departed for a run-a-ball 11. Earlier, he had mixed his lengths cleverly and hurled the ball hard onto the breaking pitch to restrict the scoring rate.
Dwayne Bravo - 3/10
A final over, where 14 runs came by, pegs back Bravo in the report card, but to his credit, he did bowl the over reasonably well. A missed chance by MS Dhoni in the 18th over, and him slipping up in the final over contributed to Chennai's loss. Pinpoint execution is what made Bravo a T20 specialist with high demand and he might want to polish up on those skills with the playoffs approaching.
Krishnappa Gowtham - 3/10
The underrated off-spinner has been a revelation for Rajasthan Royals in the Powerplay overs but went for 19 in his first two overs. The fact that Chennai had many right-handers might also contributed to his poor showing. However, his 4-ball cameo in the run chase proved decisive in the final few moments of the game.
Ambati Rayudu - 2/10
One of the most prolific run-scorers in this edition, Rayudu started off with a blast but failed to carry on and chopped the first ball from Archer onto his stumps.
Prashant Chopra - 1/10
Used in an unfamiliar position on his debut, Prashant Chopra could not make the opportunity count and departed for a single digit score. What made matters worse was that he had put down Sam Billings earlier in the game. Batting wise, with Stokes failing in a surprise promotion, Chopra could be in line to open next game.
Karn Sharma - 1/10
There must be few players as frustrated as Karn Sharma in this season of the IPL. Time and again he has been called up into the playing XI without having to do much in terms of bowling. He sent down just a solitary over once again and gave away 10 off it. He could have been given one more over against Jos Buttler.
Ankit Sharma - 1/10
Brought in as a specialist spinner, perhaps for his ability to turn the ball away from the right hander, Ankit was sparingly used and bowled just a single over in the match. Used in the Powerplay to counter Watson, he went for 11 and never came on to bowl again.
Harbhajan Singh - 1/10
Though he sent back the dangerous Stokes, Harbhajan lost it when he conceded 29 runs in the Powerplay overs, conceding four fours and two sixes. He wasn't used further despite his final ball yielding the wicket of Stokes.
Ajinkya Rahane - 1/10
After the latest failure – a 3-ball four and an indecisive shot – the pressure on Rahane would have gone up. He was in two minds whether to leave or poke at a Jadeja special and ended up doing a mix of both. Ironically, the same issues have haunted him in terms of captaincy. Indecision and a muddled up batting order has been at the top of Rajasthan's woes this season.
David Willey - 1/10
Willey was taken to the cleaners by Buttler in the very first over and it set the tone for the remainder of the innings. The England seamer further messed up Chennai’s chances when he bowled an expensive penultimate over, where Gowtham took him on for a couple of sixes.
Rating chart: 10-9: Excellent, 8-7: Good, 6-5: Average, 4-3: Poor, 2-1: Very poor