Ajinkya Rahane (91 in 54 balls) and Karun Nair (61 from 38 balls) helped Rajasthan Royals (RR) register their sixth win of the season, beating Delhi Daredevils (DD) by 14 runs in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2015 encounter at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai on Sunday.
Riding on a 113-run partnership by Rahane and Nair for the second wicket, Royals posted a challenging 189/2 in 20 overs.
In reply, Daredevils were never close to matching the skills displayed by Royals and eventually ended their innings at 175/7 in 20 overs. Skipper J.P. Duminy was the top scorer for Daredevils with 56 runs off 39 balls.
With the defeat, Delhi suffered their fifth loss in the tournament.
Earlier losing the toss and put into bat, Rajasthan got off to a modest start, with openers Rahane and Shane Watson taking time to get settled in the middle. But with couple of overs bowled, they took on the Daredevils bowling piling up team's first fifty in just 6.2 overs.
As skipper Watson was looking to get settled, a surprising delivery by Angelo Mathews got him caught by the wicketkeeper for 21 off 24 balls. His wicket didn't put the brakes on the scoring as Rahane took the reins from there on to strike the ball to all parts of the park.
Incoming batsman, Nair too held on quite easily to give good company to Rahane. The duo took advantage of some poor fielding by the visitors to put 100 runs on the board in the 14th over. Rahane struck nine fours and three sixes, whereas his partner Nair hit six boundaries and two sixes.
The duo brought up their 100-run partnership for the second wicket in just 63 balls. With his splendid innings, Rahane replaced Sunrisers Hyderabad skipper David Warner in the IPL 2015 leading run scorers list with 430 runs.
Daredevils dropped three catches in the innings. Gurinder Sandhu and Saurabh Tiwary dropped Rahane and Nair respectively and later on Amit Mishra and Zaheer Khan collided and dropped Rahane.
For Delhi, Mathews was the pick of the bowlers, picking up one wicket and finishing with figures of 4-0-27-1 but other bowlers - Zaheer Khan, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Amit Mishra, Gurwinder Sandhu - all leaked heavy runs.
Chasing a challenging score of 189, Delhi got off to a worst possible start with losing both the openers - Mayank Agarwal (11) and Shreyas Iyer (9) - within five overs.
Incoming batsman Yuvraj Singh too didn't last long, scoring just 22 off 18 balls. Angelo Mathews (16) and Kedar Jadav (11) also departed in space of two overs.
This made it more difficult for Daredevils to chase the huge target. Skipper Duminy tried his best, but looking to up the scoring rate, was caught by Dhawal Kulkarni off the bowling of James Faulkner. With the dismissal of Duminy it looked all over for Delhi as wickets fell in clusters.
For Rajasthan, James Faulkner was the pick of the bowlers picking up two wickets and finishing with figures of 4-0-22-2. Shane Watson finished with 4-1-25-1. Dhawal Kulkarni went for runs but picked up two wickets. Staurt Binny also picked two wickets in his two overs.
Rajasthan Royals: 189/2 in 20 overs (Ajinkya Rahane 91 not out, Karun Nair 61; Angelo Mathews 1/27, Nathan Coulter-Nile 1/38)
Delhi Daredevils: 111/2 in 20 overs (JP Duminy 56; James Faulkner 2/22, Stuart Binny 2/27, Dhawal Kulkarni 2/43, Shane Watson 1/25)
Result: Rajasthan Royals beat Delhi Daredevils by 14 runs