Bloemfontein: A disciplined bowling attack backed AB de Villiers unbeaten half century as Delhi Daredevils thumped Rajasthan Royals by 14 runs to consolidate their position at the top of table in the Indian Premier League here on Sunday.
Electing to bat, Delhi rattled up a challenging 150 for three, largely due to de Villiers’ unbeaten 55-ball 79 and then restricted Rajasthan to 136 for nine to notch up their ninth win from 12 matches.
Also Read IPL Team Analysis
Amit Mishra returned with figures of 3/33 from his four overs while Abhishek Salvi and Farveez Maharoof chipped in with two wickets apiece.
Delhi, who have already made it to the semifinals, are sitting pretty at the top of IPL table with 18 points to their kitty, while Rajasthan, with 13 points from as many matches, are on the fifth spot.
Rajasthan will have to win their last match against Kolkata Knight Riders on 20 May in Durban and wait for the results of other matches to see whether they make it to the semifinals or not.
Chasing 151, Rajasthan began on a disastrous note with both their openers Graeme Smith (0) and Rob Quiney (6) back to the pavillion by the third over with just eighth runs on the board and from then onwards they struggled to score.
Naman Ojha struggled to find the gaps before departing for a 17-ball nine, caught by Delhi captain Virender Sehwag off Salvi in the seventh over to leave his side at 26 for three.
Johan Botha (37) and Ravindra Jadeja (24), though, kept Rajasthan in the hunt for a while with a 55-run stand for the fourth wicket from 35 balls.
Four overs, two on either side of halfway mark, proved to be only the productive period for Rajasthan scoring 10 or more per over but once Jadeja was out in the 13th over off Salvi for a well-compiled 18-ball 24 the writing was on the wall.
By the 15th over, the asking rate climbed above 11 per over and when Botha was out in the 16th over it was all over.
Big-hitter Yusuf Pathan, who carried Rajasthan hopes of a crucial victory, could score only one run off five balls to leave his side in trouble at 82 for five in the 14th over.
Abhishk Raut (11), Shane Warne (6) and Amit Singh (0) did not have the wherewithal to knock off the runs piling on.
Earlier, Delhi rode on an unbeaten half century by de Villiers (79), who combined with Tillakaratne Dilshan (33) for 87 runs from 83 balls for the third wicket, to rattle up a challenging 150 for three after Sehwag elected to bat.
de Viliers, who hit his third IPL fifty, and Dilshan repaired the innings after Delhi slumped to 15 for two in the third over with their two openers - Gautam Gambhir and Sehwag - back to the pavillion by then.