Rajasthan Royals 156-3 (Nair 73no) beat
Delhi Daredevils 152-5 by seven wickets
Indian Premier League 2014, Delhi
Karun Nair scored an unbeaten half-century to guide the Rajasthan Royals to a seven-wicket win over the Delhi Daredevils as the Feroz Shah Kotla hosted its first match of the Indian Premier League 2014.
Nair was not out on 73 in 50 balls as the Royals raced past the Daredevils' total of 152 for five with nine balls to spare.
Quinton de Kock (42) and JP Duminy (39) had top scored for the home side who were subsequently unable to contain the Rajasthan batsmen.
Sanju Samson hit 34 in 28 balls to play a supporting role as the Royals clinched their fourth win of the competition.
With this win, the Royals move up to third in the points table with eight points from six matches. The Daredevils meanwhile were pushed down to seventh with four points from six matches.
Chasing 153 to win on a pitch that wasn’t playing slow and low like a Kotla wicket usually does, Rajasthan were off to a brisk start before losing Ajinkya Rahane (12) with just 20 runs on the board.
But his opening partner, youngster Nair struck his third T20 half-century to make sure that they wouldn’t encounter too many problems in reaching the target.
First he put on 51 runs for the second wicket with Samson. The two young batsmen, performing their jobs with responsibility, brought up the 50-run mark in the eighth over. Samson then fell against the run of play, but only after he had scored 34 runs off 28 balls with two fours and two sixes.
Delhi boy Rajat Bhatia (17) was then promoted up the order and he tried hitting out, but Nair on the other end didn’t leave too much for him to do. The 100-run mark came up in the 13th over as Nair celebrated his half-century off 41 balls, hitting five fours and one six.
He hit the next 20 runs off just nine balls, inclusive of three more fours and one six, finishing unbeaten on 73 off 50 balls.
Skipper Shane Watson joined him towards the end of the innings and scored 16 not out off 10 balls as the Royals cruised home with nine balls to spare.
Shahbaz Nadeem (1-30), Mohammad Shami (1-22) and Wayne Parnell (1-35) each took a wicket for the Daredevils.
Earlier, Rajasthan won the toss and elected to bowl first in a bid to take stock of the pitch and conditions.
The move didn’t look to have paid off as Delhi openers Quinton de Kock and Murali Vijay (13) got off to a quick start putting on 33 runs for the first wicket within the first five overs. In that fifth over though the latter holed out.
Delhi crossed the 50-run mark in the seventh over and suffered two severe blows thereafter, losing de Kock and Kevin Pietersen (14) to be reduced to 71 for three after 10 overs. The South African opener scored 42 runs off 33 balls, with five fours and one six, and top-scored for his team.
Their wickets meant that Duminy was once again left with a lot to do and he didn’t disappoint, scoring 39 runs off only 31 balls, with four fours and one six, and holding one end up.
It was Kedhar Jadhav’s blitz of 28 not out off 14 balls, with two fours and two sixes, that helped the Daredevils cross the 150-run mark, although it proved to be inadequate in the end.
Praveen Tambe (2-25) and James Faulkner (2-26) took two wickets each, while Kane Richardson (1-39) was the other wicket-taker.
© Cricket World 2014