New Delhi: Kevon Cooper bowled a brilliant final over to guide Rajasthan Royals to a five-run victory over Delhi Daredevils in a thrilling Pepsi IPL league encounter here Saturday.
Chasing a victory target of 166, Delhi batsmen failed to get 17 runs off the final two overs to finish at 160 for six at the Feroze Shah Kotla.
David Warner's smashing innings of 77 went in vain as the home team lost their second match in a row, having beaten by Kolkata Knight Riders in their tournament opener.
Needing nine runs from the final over, Cooper bowled a tight line conceding only three runs as Delhi lost the wicket of Andre Russell and Johan Botha.
A six off the final delivery was all that Delhi required but Cooper kept it fuller as Naman Ojha failed to connect the ball.
The match, which seemed to have slipped out of the hands of the Royals, was turned on its head by Australian Brad Hodge whose brilliant piece of fielding led to the dismissal of Warner.
Warner, who till then looked like anchoring the Daredevils chase to perfection, was run-out in the penultimate over as he failed to beat a direct throw from Hodge who was manning the cover region. Such was the effect of that dismissal that Daredevils completely lost the plot during the final nine deliveries of the match.
Warner hit nine fours and a big six off Siddharth Trivedi in his 56-ball knock. He shared an important 67-run third wicket partnership with young Manprit Juneja (20) as the home team did not look like facing any major hiccups in the chase.
But, when it mattered the most, unheralded Rahul Shukla and Cooper did simple things admirably well to help their team start off on a winning note.