AB de Villiers starred with the bat as the Delhi Daredevils defeated the defending champs by 14 runs.
The Daredevils won the toss and opted to bat first on an icy evening in Bloemfontein. The decision appeared to have back-fired when seamer Munaf Patel rattled through the prize openers, Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir, to leave Delhi at 15-2.
However, De Villiers (79 not out off just 55 balls) and Tillekeratne Dilshan put on a stand of 87 that resurrected the innings as they set the platform that meant they posted a competitive total of 150-3. Patel went from hero to villain as De Villiers and Dinesh Karthik hit 25 runs in the penultimate over that gave them real impetus heading into the break and was ultimately the difference between the sides.
The Royals got off to a slow start and were just 24-2 after six and 60-3 at the halfway stage. They never fully recovered as only Johan Botha, batting at four, provided resistance with his 37.
The defending champs are now in a precarious position as they have to win their final match against the Knight Riders to stand any chance of reaching the play-offs, while Delhi remain in top spot.
Delhi Daredevils 150-3 in 20 overs (AB de Villiers 79*)
Rajasthan Royals 136-9 in 20 overs (Johan Botha 37, Amit Mishra 3-33)
Delhi win by 14 runs
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