A patient half-century by Ajinkya Rahane and some disciplined bowling display helped Rajasthan Royal notch up a comfortable four-wicket win over Sunrisers Hyderabad in their IPL match in Abu Dhabi on Friday.
Rahane shared a 77-run fourth wicket partnership with Stuart Binny (48 not out) to rescue Rajasthan after they were precariously placed at 31-3 in 6.2 overs.
The 25-year-old Mumbaikar hit six boundaries in his 53-ball 59-run innings to anchor the chase as Rajasthan overhauled Hyderabad's score of 133-6 with three balls to spare at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium.
Earlier, Rajat Bhatia (2/22), Dhawal Kulkarni (2/23), Kane Richardson (2/25) and Pravin Tambe (0/23) bowled brilliantly as Rajasthan restricted Hyderabad to 133 for 6 in their stipulated 20 overs.
Chasing 134 to win, Rajasthan had a horrible start as they lost Abhishek Nayar (4), Sanju Samson (3) and skipper Shane Watson (3) cheaply.
While Dale Steyn (2/29) trapped opener Nayar infront of his wicket only in his third ball, Samson was sent packing by Bhuvneshwar Kumar (1/21) when the batsman's miscued shot was caught by Dhawan in the fourth over as Rajasthan could only score 30 in their powerplay overs.
In the next over, Ishant Sharma (1/29) had Watson caught behind by wicket-keeper Lokesh Rahul with an away going delivery as Rajasthan slumped to 31 for three.
Opener Ajinkya Rahane, however, dug his heels and started to weave a partnership with new man Binny.
With Rahane struggling with his timing, Binny blasted a four and a six in the 10th over off Darren Sammy as Rajasthan scored 61/3 in the first 10 overs.
The duo played sensible cricket as they kept taking ones and twos, besides the odd boundaries, to keep the scoreboard ticking. They brought up their 50-run partnership off 40 balls for the fourth wicket.
Looking for a wicket, Dhawan brought Steyn back into the attack but his first ball went to the boundary as Rahane brought up his hard-earned fifty off 46 balls. The 25-year-old then dispatched the next ball for another boundary.
Binny then brought up the 100 for Rajasthan with a couple of runs.