Rahul Dravid and Ajinkya Rahane struck fluent half-centuries as Rajasthan Royals inched closer towards securing a play-off berth with a comprehensive...
Rahul Dravid and Ajinkya Rahane struck fluent half-centuries as Rajasthan Royals inched closer towards securing a play-off berth with a comprehensive nine-wicket victory against Delhi Daredevils in a Pepsi Indian Premier League match, here on Tuesday. Dravid led from the front with a classy 48-ball-53, his fourth half-century in this IPL edition, while Rahane played an equally impressive unbeaten knock of 63 as Royals maintained their impeccable record at home. They now have 16 points with eight wins and look like firm contenders for a berth in knock-out round. Royals registered their seventh win at home with 13 balls to spare, scoring 155 for one. Shane Watson remained unbeaten on 14-ball 28, laced with three fours and one six. Dravid and Rahane added 108 runs for the opening-wicket partnership. For Daredevils, Rohrer hit a fine 39-ball 63 under trying conditions while Mahela Jayawardene (34) and Kedar Jadhav (23 no) also chipped in with useful contributions to help their side post a competitive 154 for four but, in the end, the total did not prove to be enough. Royals made a confident start to their run-chase with the trusted opening pair of Dravid and Rahane once again providing their team a good start. Both made short work of Delhi bowlers and enthralled a near sell-out crowd with their vast repertoire of stroke-play. Rahane made full use of the reprieve and raised a century-plus partnership with Dravid. It was a treat to watch vintage Dravid show as he cut and drove Delhi bowlers to reach his second successive fifty in the tournament in just 45 balls. Dravid was finally out in the innings' 14th over. However, Rahane and Watson ensured that Royals remained invincible at home with an unconquered 47-run partnership for the second wicket. Earlier, Rohrer put on display some innovative shots to single-handedly guide Daredevils past 150 runs, which looked unlikely at one stage with the visitors struggling at 78 for four. He found an able ally in Kedar Jadhav (23 no, 21 balls, 2x4) and together in his company added an unbeaten 76-run partnership for the fifth wicket. The last five overs yielded 53 runs for the Daredevils. Brief scores: DD 154 for four (Ben Rohrer 64 no, Mahela Jayawardene 34, Shane Watson) lost to RR 155 for one (Ajinkya Rahane 63 no, Rahul Dravid 53)