Former champions Rajasthan Royals (RR) kept their playoff hopes alive with a convincing 7-wicket win over three-time winners Chennai Super Kings (CSK) on Monday. Chasing CSK's 125/5, RR finished at 126/3 in 17.3 overs. The result lifted them from the bottom of the Indian Premier League (IPL) points table to the fifth spot.
Before the game started on Monday, RR were lying at the bottom of the eight-team points table. After they won with 2.3 overs to spare, thanks to Jos Buttler's 48-ball 70 not out, they climbed to the fifth spot with eight points from 10 matches.
The top four teams qualify for the playoffs after each team has played 14 matches in the league phase.
Smith remained unbeaten (26 off 34 balls) while speedster Jofra Archer bowled a miserly spell of four overs, picking up the wicket of in-form Faf du Plessis and conceding just 20 runs.
CSK, on the other hand, have looked completely off-colour this season and the defeat at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium has pushed them to the bottom of the points table. CSK will now have to win all their remaining four matches and depend on other results going their way to have any chance of qualifying for the playoffs.
Earlier, CSK won the toss and batted in a match that was captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni's 200th in the IPL; he thus became the first player to play 200 IPL matches.
Ravindra Jadeja top scored with 35 not out (off 30 balls) while Dhoni made 28 off 28 before he was run out.
Jadeja and Dhoni added 53 runs in 7.4 overs but they struggled to get going. The two had joined hands at the fall of Ambati Rayudu's wicket. CSK were struggling at 56/4 in 10 overs at the time.
Spinners Shreyas Gopal and Rahul Tewatia conceded just 32 runs in eight overs combined, picking up a wicket each.