Rajasthan Royals 189 for 2 (Rahane 91*, Nair 61) beat Delhi Daredevils 175 for 7 (Duminy 56, Faulkner 2-22) by 14 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Ajinkya Rahane's serene unbeaten 91 off 54 balls helped return Rajasthan Royals to winning ways, and returned the tournament's orange cap to him. He had a 52-run opening stand with Shane Watson, then struck up a 113-run partnership with Karun Nair, as Royals strode to 189 for 2.
Delhi Daredevils sputtered in response, losing both openers early, and leaving themselves too many to score in the second half of the innings. The chase petered out during the middle overs, and Daredevils eventually fell 14 runs short.
Rahane was flowing from early on in his innings, stroking Zaheer Khan through the covers in the fifth over before sending Nathan Coulter-Nile to the leg-side boundary with a flick of the wrists next over. Shane Watson bludgeoned and hacked with mixed success, until he edged Angelo Mathews behind, but Rahane was rarely troubled by seam movement, as he played late and continued to rely on timing over power.
Mathews' nagging seamers presented the greatest threat to the batsmen on the fresh Brabourne Stadium pitch. Rahane's one major indiscretion came against him in the 11th over, when on 34, he toe-ended a ball aerially over cover, but survived when Gurinder Sandhu grassed the catch in the deep.
Daredevils will rue dropping Karun Nair too. The pair made brisk progress through the middle period, finding the boundary almost every over, as the Daredevils seamers continued to bowl too short. Rahane reached his half-century, off 36 balls, with a sublimely-timed pull for six off Coulter-Nile in the 15th over. Nair sped to the milestone himself two overs later, when he slammed Sandhu over the midwicket boundary, then cracked him for fours off successive balls.
With the score on 149 for 1 after the 17th over, both batsmen launched the attack that would ensure the excellent foundation would become an imposing score. Of all the strokes Rahane hit this evening, the two consecutive lofted straight drives off Zaheer in the 18th over were perhaps the prettiest, so economical was he with his movement.
Nair holed out to deep cover in the penultimate over, but Rahane still had a few big shots in him. He whipped Coulter-Nile over long leg for six, then hit another straight four in the final over.
Sandhu leaked 49 runs from four overs on IPL debut, but the remaining bowlers didn't fare much better, with Amit Mishra also conceding more than 10 an over. Mathews was the best of the Daredevils bowlers with 1 for 27.
Daredevils were brisk in the opening overs, but Mayank Agarwal fell to Stuart Binny, then Shreyas Iyer inside-edge Shane Watson onto his stumps to leave Daredevils two down in the fifth over. JP Duminy progressed with measure, but was abandoned one-by-one by his middle-order teammates. Yuvraj Singh was out to an outstanding Binny catch on the deep square-leg boundary, and Mathews' mediocre batting returns continued, when he edged behind for a 17-ball 16. With 79 required off the last six overs, the chase was going cold. Only seven wickets fell in the end, but the result had long been decided.