Abu Dhabi: Rajasthan Royals got off to a winning start, beating Sunrisers Hyderabad by four wickets in an Indian Premier League (IPL) match at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium here Friday.
After restricting Hyderabad to 133 for six, Rajasthan had Ajinkya Rahane (59) and Stuart Binny (48 not out) to thank as it scored 135 for six in 19.3 overs.
Abhishek Nayar, roped in from Kings XI Punjab, was the first to go falling victim to a Dale Steyn in-swinger.
Sanju Samson (3) and Shane Watson (3) tried too much too quickly and gave their wickets away cheaply.
Rahane and Binny combined well to add 77 runs for the fourth wicket to keep Rajasthan in the chase.
Rahane fell in the 15th over with Rajasthan still needing 27 runs off 24 balls. Brad Hodge (1) and Rajat Bhatia (4) fell cheaply leaving the onus on Binny. The India international took Rajasthan to the brink of victory with them needing seven runs off the last over.
James Faulkner then smashed two consecutive fours to take his team over the line.
Earlier put into bat, Sunrisers lost Aaron Finch in the first over. Captain Shikhar Dhawan (38) and new recruit David Warner (32) added 75 runs for the second wicket but found it hard to get the momentum going.
Warner managed to get just a sole boundary away in the 35 balls he faced while Dhawan hit three fours and a six in 34 balls.
Once, Dhawan and Warner were dismissed in the space of two overs, the Sunrisers middle-order failed to get the run-rate up.
Lokesh Rahul (20), Darren Sammy (6) and Venugopal Rao (16 not out) were kept under wraps by some tight bowling.
The team from Hyderabad were 69 for one at the halfway mark and managed to add just 64 more runs in the next 10 overs.
Dhawal Kulkarni, Kane Richardson and Rajat Bhatia took two wickets each.
Sunrisers Hyderabad: 133 for six in 20 overs (Shikhar Dhawan 38, David Warner 32; Dhawal Kulkarni 2-23, Rajat Bhatia 2-22)
Rajasthan Royals: 135 for six in 19.3 overs (Ajinkya Rahane 59, Stuart Binny 48 not out; Dale Steyn 2-29, Amit Mishra 2-26)