Jaipur: Ajinkya Rahane's 48-ball 52 and Brad Hodge's electrifying 23-ball 52* helped Rajasthan Royals register a thrilling 4-wicket win over Otago in their Champions League Twenty20 match at Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur.
Hodge, who hit 5 smashing boundaries and 3 scintillating sixes, played a gem of an innings to guide the home side to an impressive victory and stay on top of Group A.
James Neesham brought the Volts back in winning contention earlier when he dismissed Sanju Samson and Shane Watson in successive overs to dent the Royals run chase.
Neesham got the better of Sanju Samson's stumps in the tenth over before he gave Otago Volts another reason to cheer by dismissing the dangerous Shane Watson (2) in the 12th over.
Neil Wagner then rubbed more salt on the Royals wound when he dismissed Stuart Binny (1) in the very next over to leave the home side reeling at 75/4 after 13 overs.
Soon after, Rahane completed his half-century off 44 balls with the help of 7 boundaries.
Earlier, chasing a modest target of 140 runs, Rajasthan lost their skipper Rahul Dravid after he put up 49 runs for opening wicket with Rahane.
The Dravid-Rahane duo gave the Royals a flying start but spinner Nick Beard proved successful in breaking the growing stand when he had Dravid (10) caught by Nathan McCullum at point.
The Otago Volts innings concluded when Rahul Shukla's impressive figures of 3/23 helped the Rajasthan Royals restrict then to 139/7.
After being put into bat, Otago Volts got off to a horrible start when Rajasthan pacer Rahul Shukla scalped three wickets in his first over.
Shukla, brought into the side at the expense of Vikramjeet Malik, picked up the wickets of Hamish Rutherford (5), Derek de Boorder (0) and skipper Brendon McCullum (0) in the fourth over.
Soon after, Shane Watson joined the wicket-taking party when he dismissed the dangerous Neil Broom (11) to leave the Volts struggling at 22/4 after 5 overs.
Ryan ten Doeschate and Jimmy Neesham then gave the Volts some respite when they stitched a crucial 53-run partnership for the fifth wicket.
However, the glory was short-lived when Kevon Cooper dismissed Neesham (32) when the Otago batsman was caught by Watson at mid-on.
Earlier, Rajasthan have won the toss and opted to field first.
In Rajasthan Royals Rahul Shukla comes in for Vikramjeet Malik, while Otago unchanged.
Otago: Neil Broom, Hamish Rutherford, Brendon McCullum (Capt.), Derek de Boorder (wk), Ryan ten Doeschate, Jimmy Neesham, Nathan McCullum, Ian Butler, Neil Wagner, Nick Beard, James McMillan
Rajasthan: Rahul Dravid (Capt.), Ajinkya Rahane, Sanju Samson (wk), Shane Watson, Stuart Binny, Brad Hodge, Ashok Menaria, James Faulkner, Kevon Cooper, Pravin Tambe, Rahul Shukla
Otago 139 for 7 (Neesham 32, Shukla 3-23, Cooper 2-33)
Rajasthan Royals 142 for 6 (Hodge 52*, Rahane 52, Neesham 3-22, Wagner 2-33)
Result Rajasthan Royals won by 4 wickets
Points Rajasthan Royals 4, Otago 0