Cape Town - Deepak Hooda smashed a half century for the Rajasthan Royals, to inflict an 11th consecutive Indian Premier League defeat on the Delhi Daredevils at the Feroz Shah Kotla in Delhi on Sunday.
Tim Southee (seven not out) hit the final ball from Angelo Mathews (4-0-42-1) to the boundary as the Royals ended on 186 for seven in reply to Delhi’s 184 for three after Steve Smith had won the toss and asked JP Duminy’s Daredevils to bat first.
Despite Southee striking the winning runs off the final ball, it was man of the match Hooda who put his team into a winning position with a brilliant, yet fortuitous, 54 off 25 balls which included three boundaries and four maximums.
The young right-handed batsman came to the crease with the Royals in a spot of bother on 78 for four but resurrected the innings with Ajinkya Rahane as the pair added 52 runs for the fifth wicket off only 29 balls.
Hooda was given two lives by the Daredevils with a missed a run-out opportunity by Yuvraj Singh and a dropped catch by Rahane.
The partnership was finally broken by the leg-spin of Imran Tahir, who clean-bowled Rahane for a well-played 47 off 39 balls which included two boundaries and three sixes.
Tahir was the pick of the Daredevil bowlers, claiming 4-28 in his four overs, which included the wickets of Hooda and James Faulkner (17) in the penultimate over of the match.
Rahane and Sanju Samson (11) made a steady start to the innings, adding 37 runs before the introduction of Mathews in the fifth over created the breakthrough. Samson, who was rather quiet, flicked Mathews’ final ball of his first over straight to Yuvraj Singh on the square-leg boundary.
The introduction of the spinners put the brakes on the chase as Amit Mishra (4-0-32-2) and Tahir combined well to bowl five overs while claiming three wickets for 34 runs.
The Royals still needed 12 runs off the final over after Tahir claimed the two set batsmen and the visitors still required three runs off the final ball but Mathews missed his length slightly and Southee struck the ball through extra cover to seal their second victory of the competition.
Earlier, Mayanik Agarwal (37) and Shreyas Iyer (40) had given the home side a solid and quick start with an opening stand of 45 off 29 balls before the leg-break bowling of Pravin Tambe (3-0-18-1) broke the stand when Agarwal popped a delivery straight back to the bowler.
Another solid 48-run stand for the second wicket between Iyer and Duminy (44 not out) set the platform but Duminy, despite facing only 38 balls in the end with three maximums, failed to kick on.
Yuvraj smashed two maximums in his 17-ball 27 before Mathews hit three boundaries and one six for his unbeaten 27 off 14 balls as he and Duminy added 46 unbroken runs for the fourth wicket off 22 balls. Chris Morris (4-0-35-2) bowled well upfront, conceding just 19 runs in his first three overs before being dispatched by Duminy in the final over of the innings for 16 runs.
Morris claimed the wickets of Iyer, caught at mid-off by Southee in his second over and then Karun Nair took a brilliant diving catch at fine leg to dismiss Yuvraj in his next over.
Gary Kirsten, who heads up the Daredevils, will need to find a solution to the current losing streak before his team face up to the Kings XI Punjab on Wednesday.
The Royals will be looking to make it three wins from three starts when they take on the Mumbai Indians on Tuesday.
Delhi Daredevils: MA Agarwal, SS Iyer, JP Duminy (captain), Yuvraj Singh, MK Tiwary, AD Mathews, KM Jadhav (wk), NM Coulter-Nile, A Mishra, Imran Tahir, JD Unadkat
Rajasthan Royals: AM Rahane, SV Samson (wicketkeeper), SPD Smith (captain), KK Nair, STR Binny, DJ Hooda, JP Faulkner, CH Morris, TG Southee, DS Kulkarni, PV Tambe