Kedar Jadhav and Shane Watson starred as Royal Challengers Bangalore got off the mark in the Indian Premier League with a 15-run win over Delhi Daredevils on Saturday.
Jadhav made up for the ongoing absences of AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli, helping Bangalore recover from a difficult start by thumping 69 off just 37 deliveries as they posted 157-8 at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium.
Rishabh Pant's 36-ball 57 put Delhi in a strong position in reply, but the visitors then lost wickets at regular intervals in their chase and were limited to 142-9, the canny Watson crucially giving up only seven runs across the 17th and 19th overs en route to figures of 1-21.
The Royal Challengers looked set to be in for a difficult day when Chris Gayle (6), Mandeep Singh (12) and Watson (24) all failed to make a significant impression with the bat.
Jadhav turned things around with an electric knock, though, launching a pair of sixes as he claimed 24 runs off a set of six from Amit Mishra (0-32 from two overs) following a steady start.
The 32-year-old was unrelenting and blasted Carlos Brathwaite (0-29 from two) for a boundary and a maximum before bringing up his fifty from 26 balls.
Jadhav shared a 66-run partnership with Stuart Binny (16) before holing out to mid-off facing Zaheer Khan (2-31). Chris Morris took the catch before removing Pawan Negi and Tymal Mills for a return of 3-21.
Mills bowled Aditya Tare (18) to break Delhi's opening partnership, but the visitors gained momentum through Pant, who slammed Iqbal Abdulla (2-36) for six first ball.
Pant cleared the ropes a further three times and notched a trio of fours, but lacked support as the Daredevils lost five players for single figures.
Following Watson's superb death bowling, Delhi required 19 runs for victory in the final over and the game was up when Pant was bowled by Negi, who finished with 2-3 from his solitary set of six.