Jaipur: 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 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.
Delhi Daredevils, whose season has gone from bad to worse stay put on eight position with six points.
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 in just 13.4 overs with the former India captain playing the more aggressive knock of the two.
In the process, Royals also registered their highest opening-wicket partnership in this edition of the IPL, surpassing 98 runs against Pune Warriors last week.
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.
Delhi's misery was further compounded by their butter-finger fielders when Rahane was dropped by Pawan Negi at extra-cover off Morne Morkel when the batsman was at an individual score of 4.
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.