Delhi skipper Virender Sehwag claimed two wickets for 39 runs and took two catches to shine for the visitors.
The highlight of the hosts' innings was the 97-run partnership for the sixth between Rowland, who hit eight fours in his 224-ball knock, and unbeaten 48, laced with four boundaries, by B Akhil, after the home team were 134 for five in the 64th over.
Earlier, Karnataka skipper Sujith Somasundar won the toss and, as expected, opted to bat. Opener Robin Uthappa contributed 31.
For Delhi, Rajat Bhatia (1/10), Kunaal Lall (1/34), Chetanya Nanda (1/41) and Abhishek Sharma (1/65) picked up one wicket apiece.
Brief scores: Karnataka 231 for six in 90 overs (Rowland 81, Akhil 48 not out, Uthappa 31; Sehwag 2/39).