New Delhi: Karun Nair starred with the bat while Zaheer Khan and Mohammed Shami put on a fantastic display of pace bowling as Delhi Daredevils edged out Rising Pune Supergiant by seven runs at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium on Friday.
Chasing a fighting target of 169, Pune got off to the worst possible start as Zaheer castled Ajinkya Rahane on the first ball of the innings itself.
Steven Smith and Rahul Tripathi steadied innings for RPS by hitting few boundaries. Smith played the role of the aggressor and took the Delhi bowlers to the cleaners.
However, Zaheer further pegged back Pune by getting rid of in-form Tripathi for 7. Smith was then joined at the crease by Manoj Tiwary and the duo revived the Pune chase after two initial blows.
The duo put on a 38-run partnership in quick time before the RPS skipper was dismissed by Shahbaz Nadeem for 38.
Couple of dropped chances didn't help Delhi's cause either as Pune were moving all guns blazing towards the target.
Shami returned into the attack in the 16th over of the match and that turned out to be the turning point of the match. Shami first got rid of Stokes for 33 and that opened the floodgates for DD.
In the 18th over, a misunderstanding between MS Dhoni and Manoj Tiwary resulted in the former RPS skipper getting run-out. Shami's direct hit sent back Dhoni to the pavillion.
Shami got his second scalp of the match in the penultimate over of the match when he got rid of the danger-man Dan Christian for 3.
Cummins then bowled a wide as Pune needed 12 off 3 deliveries. The Australian pacer held his nerves and bowled back to back dot balls as the game turned on it's head once again.
Four leg byes off the second last ball ensured Delhi needed a virtually impossible target of 8 runs off the final delivery. To cap off a nerve-wrecking last over, Cummins cleaned up Tiwary's stumps in the last over as Delhi registered their sixth win of the season.
Earlier, the Daredevils rode on Karun Nair's brilliant half century to post 168/8 in their designated 20 overs.
Nair's 45-ball 64, laced with nine hits to the fence, helped Delhi recover from a precarious position after the visitors had reduced the home side to 9/2 after three overs.
Electing to bat after calling the toss correctly, Daredevils were off to a disastrous start, losing the key wickets of opener Sanju Samson (2) and one down Shreyas Iyer (3) cheaply.
Nair and wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant (36) then steadied the ship with a 74-run third wicket stand as the right-left combo took the attack to the opposition in no time.
Pant wasn't left too far behind, slapping Sundar for a flat six over midwicket before milking Shardul Thaur for three boundaries as Delhi got back the momentum to yield 62 runs in the next five overs.
The strategic time-out once again brought smiles back to the Pune camp, but not before Pant had smacked leg-spinner Adam Zampa for a four and six.
Zampa, however, got the southpaw the very next ball with a flatter delivery which Pant after facing 22 balls and hitting four boundaries and two sixes, failed to connect properly to be caught by Daniel Christian at long-on.
The fall of Pant brought in West Indian Marlon Samuels (27 off 21), who looked good during his 21-ball stay at the crease.
Samuels slammed two consecutive maximums of pacer Shardul Thakur to add 34 runs for the fifth wicket with Nair before stumper Mahendra Singh Dhoni plucked off a stunning catch off Christian to pack back the Caribbean batsman.
Comfortably placed at 117/4 after 14 overs, the stage was set for Nair and New Zealander Corey Anderson (3) to step up the gas after the second time out.
Despite losing his partners at the other end, Nair, who had faced 37 balls by then completed his half century and was joined briefly by Pat Cummins (11), before Stokes packed back the Australian.
Towards the end, veteran leggie Amit Mishra (11 not out) joined Nair to add a quickfire 22-run stand for the seventh wicket before the Karnataka batsman got a top edge off Stokes to be caught by Jaydev Unadkat at midwicket.
Unadkat bowled a brilliant final over, leaking five runs and taking the wicket of tailender Mohammed Shami (2) as the home side failed to get the push.