Kedar Jadhav hit a 69 off 37 balls to set up a 15-run victory for the Royal Challengers Bangalore against the Delhi Daredevils on Saturday
The Delhi Daredevils, having lost JP Duminy and Quinton de Kock before the start of the tournament, needed to rely on their bowling attack to put them on the front foot.
Without Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers, the RCB’s batting lineup needed performances from their top order, who failed them once again.
The Daredevils got off to the perfect start when Pat Cummins, Chris Morris and Shahbaz Nadeem struck early to reduce RCB to 55-3 (8.4 overs), with Morris picking up the scalp of the dangerous Chris Gayle on 6 and Shane Watson (24) falling to Nadeem.
Jadhav pulled his side back into the match, turning up the heat in the 13th over, smacking two sixes and two fours to take his side to 98-3. He continued his onslaught in the following over, smashing 15 runs (two fours, a six and a single) reaching a 26-ball 50 in the process.
Jadhav went on to score 69 off 37 balls (five sixes and five fours), before he skied a delivery from captain Zaheer Khan as Morris took a simple catch.
With RCB on 143-6 with three overs remaining, the visitors piled the pressure on the Royal Challengers. Despite being smashed for a six off the third ball of the final over, Morris responded by picking up two wickets and a dot ball to end with figures of 3-21, as RCB posted 157-8.
The DD’s reply was identical to RCB, losing three wickets for 55 runs, but in 7.3 overs. Sam Billings was their best performer in that period, scoring 25 off 19 balls.
They lost their fourth at the 84-run mark, Morris (4) at the 107-run mark, followed by their sixth wicket at 113.
Despite the death of his father on Thursday, 19-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant battled to a 33-ball fifty in a lone batting display. He lost his wicket in the final over on 57 off 36 balls (three fours, four sixes) as RCB emerged victorious by 15 runs.
DD posted 142-9 in their 20 overs.
Elsewhere, the stats at Indore favoured the team batting second at eight wins out of 10 games. This became 9 out of 11 as Kings XI Punjab got their tournament off to a winning start.
A 61-run partnership between Manoj Tiwary (40 off 23) and Ben Stokes (50 off 32) helped the Rising Pune Supergiant post a competitive score of 163-6 after a top-order collapse of 71-4.
The Kings XI struggled at the start, losing four wickets for 85 runs. Imran Tahir carried over his form from Thursday night, picking up 2-29 and ending with the best figures for his side.
David Miller’s 30 off 27 and Glenn Maxwell’s 20-ball 44 (four sixes and two fours) took their side over the line, putting on 79 not out off 47 balls to claim a six-wicket victory for Kings XI Punjab.
Photo: Cricinfo/Ron Gaunt/ IPL/Sportzpics