The Buttler did it as Royals stay alive in IPL

Fan runs towards Ajinkya Rahane of the Rajasthan Royals during an IPL 2018 match

Fan runs towards Ajinkya Rahane of the Rajasthan Royals during an IPL 2018 match

"We need to be winning games, not just qualify for the knockouts". At the halfway stage, the Sunrisers were 62 for 1 and with wickets in hand they shifted gears in the second half of their innings to add 115 runs in the last 10 overs. Watson hit him for four first ball.

SRH, who have already qualified for the play-offs, remained on top of the table with 18 points from 12 matches while CSK are at second with 16 points from the same number of matches. They trail league leaders Sunrisers Hyderabad by four points.

Watson hit Sandeep Sharma for two sixes back-to-back. The England star aside, Krishnappa Gowtham has been a big player for Rajasthan, showing the confidence to bowl his off-spin in the powerplay he has taken eight IPL wickets this season and is more than capable of scoring quick runs down the order.

Rayudu also scored a half-century in Chennai's four-run win over Hyderabad in their previous meeting. The duo - who got together after Alex Hales (2) was dismissed by Deepak Chahar (1-16) in the 4th over - took time to settle in and ensured they saw off Chahar's spell.

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Stturat Binny also failed to last long as Chennai seemed destined for another win. His inning comprised 7 fours and 7 sixes. This was clinical hitting against bowlers who were now under pressure. All told, he took 31 runs off 14 balls from Kaul at a strike-rate of 221.42 and a control percentage of 85. Two successive sixes by Watson off Sandeep Sharma (1-36) - over fine-leg and mid-wicket regions respectively - in the third over of the chase signaled the side's intentions.

Earlier, a decent batting effort helped CSK post a fighting total of 176/4.

The 32-year-old Rayudu and Shane Watson (57 off 35) set the tone of Chennai's easy chase by putting on a 134-run opening wicket stand off 81 balls.

Most of the batsmen - Ambati Rayudu, Shane Watson, Dwayne Bravo, Dhoni and Suresh Raina - have contributed whenever the team needed. This is the 11th match for both the teams.

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To get a one-two in qualifying is fantastic for the team". "Maybe there was a tiny bit but not enough to get to the first row". It was clear, then, that they were the team and driver to beat. "The more comfortable I am, the more the pace shows".

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Considering their red hot form, Hyderabad wouldn't want to make any changes, not even to try out their depth, but they'd definitely expect the under-performing Manish Pandey to find his straps ahead of the crucial business end.

With Chennai at 119/3 in 13 overs, Dhoni and Sam Billings (27 off 22) forged a 55-run partnership off 39 balls to put back things in control.

On a track where batting looked, rather easy in the second innings, CSK overhauled a stiff target of 180 runs easily and still had 6 balls to spare.

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Elsewhere, Hoffenheim and Borussia Dortmund joined Schalke and champions Bayern Munich in the league's top four. Hamburg got off to the ideal when Aaron Hunt gave the hosts a 1-0 lead after 11 minutes.

For Rajasthan, Archer bagged couple of wickets but leaked 42 runs while Sodhi scalped one conceding 29 runs.

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