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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 in the seventh edition of the Indian Premier League here today.
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 six.
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.
Royals now have 14 points 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 .... but the Daredevils were never in the game from the first over of the match.
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 whoppin 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.
JP Duminy (8) hit Tambe for a six but the 'Grand Old Man' of IPL had his revenge with a googly which Duminy played into the hands of Karun Nair standing at point. Kevin Pietersen (13) should have been adjudged run-out when he was on three as he was caught short of crease with substitute Unmukt Chand hitting the stumps. Umpire S Ravi shocked everyone as he didn't even consult the third umpire just like now ousted Sanjay Hazare didn't against the same team at Delhi.
Pietersen's agony increased as the pitch got slower and Rajat Bhatia varied the pace and length making it virtually impossible as he was bowled trying a hoick. Ross Taylor (4) also committed early to a slower delivery giving a simple return catch to Bhatia. Within first 10 overs, the match as a contest was as good as over with half of the team in the dug-out.
Tiwary's poor call saw a mix-up resulting in Kedar Jadhav's (3) run-out and formalities were left from there on.