Ahmedabad: Rajasthan Royals comprehensively crushed favourite ‘whipping boys’ Delhi Daredevils by 62 runs in a thoroughly one-sided encounter to consolidate their chances of making it to the play-offs here on Thursday.
Kevin Pietersen completely read the pitch wrong as he invited Rajasthan Royals to make best use of the conditions piling up their season’s best score of 201 for 6.
Ajinkya Rahane (64), Sanju Samson (40), Kevon Cooper (32) and James Faulkner (23) all made merry against a below par Daredevils attack.
In reply, Daredevils batsmen never had the technique to win a match on a pitch that got slower with each passing over as they managed only 139 for nine to slump to their ninth defeat including sixth consecutive loss at home.
The Royals now have 14 points and have steered clear by four points ahead of their nearest rival Kolkata Knight Riders, who are on 10 points.
Manoj Tiwary fought well for his 61 but the Daredevils were never in the game.
Mayank Agarwal (17) was done in by a slower from James Faulkner as stand-in captain Steve Smith grabbed an easy catch at mid-off. Dinesh Karthik (3), who was bought for a whopping Rs 12.5 crore again flattered to deceive as he mistimed a pull off a slow bouncer from Dhawal Kulkarni to be caught by Ben Cutting at fine leg boundary.
Rajasthan Royals: A. Rahane b Nadeem 64, K. Nair lbw b Nadeem 19, K. Cooper c Shukla b Duminy 32, S. Samson c Jadhav b Imran Tahir 40, S. Binny st Karthik b Imran Tahir 0, B. Cutting run out 8, J. Faulkner (not out) 23. Extras (lb10, w4, nb1) 15. Total (for 6 wkts; in 20 overs) 201.
FoW: 1-44, 2-93, 3-167, 4-168, 5-169, 6-201.
Bowling: Duminy 3-0-25-1(2w), Shukla 4-0-44-0 (1nb), Kaul 3-0-34-0, Nadeem 4-0-35-2 (2w), Tahir 4-0-25-2, Tiwary 2-0-28-0
Delhi Daredevils: K. Pietersen b Bhatia 13, M. Agarwal c Smith b Faulkner 17, D. Karthik c Cutting b Kulkarni 3, J. Duminy c Nair b Tambe 8, M. Tiwary (not out) 61, R.Taylor c & b Bhatia 4, K. Jadhav (run out) Cutting 3, S. Nadeem b Cutting 1, Imran Tahir b Binny 4, R. Shukla c Smith b Cooper 14, S. Kaul (not out) 2. Extras (lb-3, w-6) 0 Total (for nine wickets in 20 overs) 139.
Fow: 1-19, 2-30, 3-43, 4-48, 5-58, 6-75, 7-86, 8-91, 9-120.
Bowling: D. Kulkarni 4-1-24-1, B.Cutting 4-0-31-1, J. Faulkner 1-0-6-1, K. Cooper 3-0-19-1, P. Tambe 3-0-24-1, R. Bhatia 3-0-18-2, S. Binny 2-0-14-1.