Mumbai, Apr 10: Led by skipper Rajesh Bishnoi's blistering 75 off 36 balls, Rajasthan rallied brilliantly from a difficult situation to beat Kerala by three wickets with a ball to spare for their second straight victory in the Syed Mushtaq Ali All India T20 Group B game today.
In another Group B game at the Wankhede Stadium, Delhi scored their first victory in three matches when they thrashed a lacklustre Bengal by seven wickets, thus inflicting the third straight defeat on the eastern side.
Chasing a huge target of 173, Rajasthan started poorly at the Sharad Pawar indoor academy ground in Bandra Kurla Complex with four batsmen back in the hut with only 49 on the board in the eighth over.
Bishnoi, who was dropped on nine in the 10th over, capitalised on the reprieve and forged a 47-run stand with Naresh Gehlot and a 32-ball 70-run partnership with Divya Pratap Singh.
The Rajasthan captain struck five fours and six sixes in his whirlwind knock before being dismissed by a freak run out in the last ball of the penultimate over.
Gehlot made 42 off 37 balls (5x4,1x6) while Divya Pratap Singh made an unbeaten 18-ball 27 (3x4).
Vinod Kumar picked up two wickets for 35 runs, while Manukrishnan, Basil Thampi and Rakesh KJ bagged a wicket each.
Earlier, asked to bat, Kerala, who defeated Delhi in their opening game, scored the runs briskly and posted 172 for three with openers V A Jagadeesh and Rakesh adding 40 runs for the first wicket.
Jagadeesh made a 19-ball 15, while Rakesh scored 16 off 21 balls and both struck two fours each.
Despite losing the openers in successive overs, Sanju Viswanath Samson took charge and carted the bowlers all around the park to make a brilliant 39-ball 68, laced with six fours and four sixes.
Samson hit Deepak Chahar for two sixes in the 14th over but perished in the 18th over with the team score on 144.
Rohan Prem made an unbeaten 48 that included four fours to guide Kerala to the imposing total. Aniket Choudhary, Gajendra Singh Parihar and Aditya Garhwal picked up a wicket apiece.