Royals pull off last-gasp victory

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Some superb death bowling from Kevon Cooper, and a half century earlier in the day from Rahul Dravid, made sure the Rajasthan Royals beat the more fancied Delhi Daredevils by just five runs on Saturday.

Some superb death bowling from Kevon Cooper, and a half century earlier in the day from Rahul Dravid, made sure the Rajasthan Royals beat the more fancied Delhi Daredevils by just five runs on Saturday.

It was the Daredevils' second defeat in a row as they failed to chase down the 166 required, despite a valiant 77 from David Warner. The Australian opener was removed with 13 runs to go, and his absence sounded the end for the Delhi side as they reached 160 for six.

The Royals looked on track for 180 at least in their knock, but four wickets in the final two overs put that idea to rest, and it was skipper Rahul 'The Wall' Dravid's 65 and Stuart Binny's 40 off 20 balls that made sure of a decent score.

The opening stand between Kushal Perera and Ajinkya Rahane only yielded 22 runs, but Dravid then joined up with his countryman and they pushed the score to 87. Rahane was then caught and bowled by Shahbaz Nadeem for 28.

This was when Binny and Dravid joined forces, putting on 55 together in just four overs, Binny striking three sixes and two fours in that time. He was eventually sent packing by Umesh Yadav, who returned from injury to take four wickets.

The wicket flurry at the end was courtesy of both Yadav and Ashish Nehra, who dismissed Kevon Cooper and Ashok Meneria with consecutive deliveries, making sure the final two overs went for only six runs.

The Daredevils were well on track for a win until the very end, and will be gutted by the failure to wrap up a win over a side that didn't really have a class strike bowler to speak of.

Warner and young Indian batsman Unmukt Chand started off well and advanced to 39 without much fuss, before Chand (23) was clean bowled by countryman Sreesanth, who sent the stumps flying.

Warner then joined up with Mahela Jayawardene, who added 19 before falling to Rahul Shukla, caught superbly by a diving Ajinkya Rahane at backward point. Manprit Juneja then came in and he and the Aussie went along at a good pace, inching closer to what seemed like victory.

Juneja was dismissed with the score on 149, the first of Cooper's three victims, leaving Warner to continue with new partners. Brad Hodge, a former Australia player, was his countryman's downfall four runs later though, as Warner was short of his crease and a direct hit was affected.

Cooper then continued to spear in the yorkers, preventing any meaningful runs from being scored. It looked do-able with eight needed off five, but Cooper used tow of those balls to get rid of Andre Russell and Johan Botha, leaving Delhi stranded.

Delhi: Chand, Warner, Jayawardene, Ojha, Russell, Botha, Pathan, Juneja, Nehra, Nadeem, Yadav

Rajasthan: K Perera, Rahane, Dravid, Hodge, Binny, Menaria, Cooper, Trivedi, Badree, Sreesanth, Shukla

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