New Delhi: Morne Morkel's penultimate over, which yielded just three runs and a wicket, helped table-toppers Delhi Daredevils snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, said a disappointed Rajasthan Royals captain Rahul Dravid, after his side slumped to an unexpected one-run loss in an Indian Premier League match on Sunday.
Chasing 153 for victory, Rajasthan were comfortably placed at 138 for one after 18 overs. But Morkel's penultimate over completely changed the complexion of the match. Needing 12 runs off the last over bowled by Umesh Yadav, Rajasthan could only manage 10 as Owais Shah was run-out by a direct throw from wicketkeeper Naman Ojha when the two batsmen ran for a desperate single in order to level the scores and take the match to the Super Over.
"It was disappointing to lose from that position. We had the game within our grasp till the 18th over, but Morne's 19th over was crucial. He bowled really good balls. We must give credit to him, the way he bowled under pressure," Dravid said after the match.
"It happens in Twenty20 cricket. Maybe we could have finished the game much earlier. But we will have to bounce back, we have no other option. We probably needed the points more than Delhi," he said. "Our bowling today was superb. We probably bowled the best of any teams against Delhi, who have such a formidable batting line-up."
Dravid also lauded Ajinkya Rahane, who played a superb unbeaten 84-run knock, even though it turned out to be in a losing cause. "He will be disappointed not to end up on the winning side after such a wonderful knock. I told him not to be disappointed because this sort of things happens in cricket. He is batting amazing this season. It is not only good for us, but also augurs well for India," the Rajasthan skipper said.
Delhi pacer Ajit Agarkar agreed with his former India teammate Dravid, admitting Morkel's penultimate over was the turning point of the game. "There is always hope in Twenty20 till the last ball is bowled. They were in the driver's seat for the majority part of the match till Morne's over. 12 runs from the last over is always a tough ask," he said.
Asked whether Delhi were satisfied with the 153-run target set for Rajasthan, Agarkar said, "Probably not. We would have like to get a few more, but the wicket was not that quick as in the last match. It was little bit on the slower side and shot-making was difficult."