Rishabh Pant (69) and Quinton de Kock (46) produced a match-winning opening stand to guide Delhi Daredevils to a convincing eight-wicket victory over Gujarat Lions in an Indian Premier League (IPL) match at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Rajkot on Tuesday.
Batting first, Gujarat posted 149/7 in 20 overs, thanks to a much-needed half-century by Dinesh Karthik (53).
In reply, riding on an impressive 115-run opening partnership by Pant and de Kock, Daredevils chased down the total comfortably posting 150/2 with 16 balls to spare.
Chasing a target of 150, Delhi got off to a rollicking start, courtesy openers Pant and de Kock.
The duo helped the team score 61 runs without losing a wicket after the completion of powerplay.
Both the left-handed batsmen, even after the fielding restrictions were over, kept on playing positively to bring up the 100-run partnership for the first wicket in the 12th over itself.
But as the duo was looking comfortable to get the team over the line without losing any wickets, the home side struck in successive overs, in the 13th and the 14th, to remove both of them.
Pant in his 40-ball innings struck nine fours and two sixes while de Kock hit four boundaries and one six.
But incoming batsmen Sanju Samson (19 not out) and J.P. Duminy (13 not out) played sensibly to ensure the team got past the victory line with ease.
For Gujarat, Ravindra Jadeja and Shivil Kaushik picked one wicket each.
Earlier, asked to bat by the visitors, Gujarat were off to a poor start, losing their top order within the first four overs.
Gujarat openers Brendon McCullum (1) and Dwayne Smith (15), who have built up an extremely successful combination, did not click for once.
Zaheer set things rolling when he dismissed McCullum after the in-form Kiwi veteran misjudged a delivery that moved in after pitching. Nadeem then claimed two wickets in the next over to hand Delhi the early advantage.
The left-armer sent back Smith with the first ball of the over when the West Indies all-rounder smashed one into the hands of Chris Morris at long-on.
The fit again Aaron Finch (5) lasted all of five balls before a poorly executed shot saw him offer an easy top edge to Rishabh Pant at short fine leg.
With the hosts struggling at 24/3, Gujarat skipper Suresh Raina (24) and Karthik set about bringing the innings back on track with a 51-run partnership.
Raina seemed to be in good touch during his 20-ball 24, even lifting Mohamed Shami over the third man boundary for a six. But he fell when stepped out to attempt another big hit off Mishra, only to miss complete as Quinton de Kock whipped off the bails.
Ravindra Jadeja (36 not out) joined Karthik in the middle and the duo kept up the good work by adding 52 runs between them off 33 deliveries. Shami brought the partnership to an end with a straight delivery when Karthik mistimed his shot as the ball clipped the top of off-stump.
James Faulkner (7) virtually gifted his wicket to Morris with some extremely poor shot selection before Jadeja and Ishan Kishan (2) added 10 runs in the last over to take the total close to the 150-run mark.
Left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem was the most successful among the Delhi bowlers with figures of 2/23 in three overs.
Brief scores: Gujarat Lions 149/7 (Dinesh Karthik 53, Ravindra Jadeja 36; Shahbaz Nadeem 2/23) vs Delhi Daredevils 150/2 in 17.3 overs (Rishabh Pant 69; Ravindra Jadeja 1-21)