Pacer Rahul Shukla rocked the rival top-order with three wickets in an over before veteran Brad Hodge hit a blistering fifty as Rajasthan Royals snapped Otago Volts's 15-match winning streak with a four-wicket win in the Champion League Twenty20 Group A match, in Jaipur, on Tuesday.
The hosts restricted the Kiwis to a modest 139 for seven following a fiery spell of fast bowling by Shukla and then overhauled the target with five balls to spare.
Shukla, who was included in place of Vikramjeet Malik, was called on to bowl fourth over of the innings and he removed Hamish Rutherford (11) with his first ball, skipper Brendon McCullum (0) with third and Derrek de Boorder (0) off the fifth ball.
The 53-run stand for the fifth wicket between James Neesham (32) and Ryan ten Doeschate (26) rallied the visitors and helped them post a respectable total.
Down the order Nathan McCullum (28) and Ian Butler (25) also chipped in with some useful runs.
Royals' 12th victory on the trot at home ensured that the hosts finished top of Group A with 16 points and will now play their semi-final at home.
The wins also keeps Mumbai Indians in hunt for the semi-finals. Mumbai are third in the table with six points behind Volts (10). The IPL champions face a tough ask to make it to the last four as they need to beat Perth Scorchers by 49 runs or by 34 balls to spare to qualify.
Rajasthan were off to a flying start, racing to 43 for no loss in six overs with a flurry of boundaries in the early overs by opener Ajinkya Rahane before the Otago bowlers struck back with a few quick wickets.
Captain Rahul Dravid (10) struggled to get going and his 17-ball troublesome stay finally ended when he was caught at point off left-arm spinner Nick Beard.
James Neesham claimed three for 20 and rallied Volts as Sanju Samson (5), Shane Watson (2) and Stuart Binny (1) fell in quick succession.
The hosts were struggling at 72 for four after a mid-innings collapse but Hodge smashed his way to an unbeaten 52 off 23 balls to script the win.
Hodge hit three sixes and five fours and completed his half-century and team's win with a splendid cover drive off Ian Butler.
Before Hodge arrived on the scene, opener Ajinkya Rahane hit a measured 52 off 48 balls to stabilise the innings. Hodge and Rahane formed a 44-run stand for fifth wicket to steady the innings after a few quick wickets.
After Rahane's departure, the veteran Australian single-handedly took the side to victory in an exciting finish.
Earlier, generating good pace and bowling a good line, Shukla finished with three for 23 but was instrumental in restricting the visitors to a manageable total.
For the hosts, apart from Shukla, Kevon Cooper (2/33) took two wickets while Pravin Tambe (1/17) and Shane Watson (1/24) scalped one batsman each.
Otago Volts, high on confidence with a 15-match winning spree, made a sedate start through Neil Broom (11) and Hashim Rutherford (5) who added 16 runs in three overs.
Shukla, who was included in place of Vikramjeet Malik, was called on to bowl fourth over of the innings. The move turned out to be a master stroke as in his first over as he rattled rival camp with three quick wickets.
Shane Watson further added to the woes of Otago by scalping Broom, who had hit a fine ton against Lions, to reduce the visitors to 21 for four in the fifth over.
Neesham (32) and Ryan ten Doeschate steadied the innings with a partnership of 53 runs off 47 balls for the fifth wicket.
Left-handed Neesham, who had hit a brisk 25 ball 52 in his previous innings against Perth Scorchers, holed out to Watson at long on off Cooper.
Image: Brad Hodge celebrates after hitting the winning runs.