Ibn Rashid's response to Ibn Saud's temerity was some months in coming.
When Ibn Saud had retaken Riyadh, Ibn Rashid had been engaged some three hundred miles away in machinations to oust the ruler of Kuwait and incorporate the seaport into his domain. News that Riyadh had been retaken by the Al Saud travelled swiftly to Ibn Rashid. Yet it was not till the following autumn that Ibn Rashid set out on a punitive expedition.
Ibn Rashid's delay gave Ibn Saud time to build his army and to consolidate his authority.
Ibn Saud made camp at an oasis near the village of Dilam, some 55 miles south east of Riyadh and it was there that Ibn Saud faced the forces of Al Rashid. The battle was not typical of the desert skirmishes which formed part of bedouin life. From fixed positions, Ibn Saud ordered his men to discharge volley after volley of fire at the advancing warriors, as though the army of the Al Saud had inexhaustible supplies of ammunition. Although the risk of such a tactic was obvious, the ploy worked. The fighting was fierce but, after hours of battle, when his own men were almost entirely out of ammunition, Ibn Saud launched a cavalry charge which routed the enemy. Ibn Rashid was forced to retreat northwards. He dared not stop until he reached the safety of Hail, the Al Rashid capital.