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, the Royals 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, the Royals could only manage 10 as Owais Shah was run out by a direct throw from wicketkeeper Naman Ojha as the two batsmen ran for a desperate single in order to level the scores and take the match into Super Over.
Rahane's brilliance goes waste, Delhi steal one-run win
"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 at the post-match press conference.
"It happens in Twenty20 cricket. May be we could have finished the game much earlier.
"But we will have to bounce back (from this defeat), we have no other option. We probably needed the points more than Delhi," he added.
Dravid lauded Ajinkya Rahane, who played a superb unbeaten 84-run knock, which turned out to be in a losing cause.
"He (Rahane) will be disappointed not to end on the winning side after such a wonderful knock. I told him not to be disappointed because this sort of things happen 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.
Despite the heart-breaking defeat, Dravid preferred to stay.
"Our bowling today was superb. We probably bowled the best of any teams against Delhi, who has such a formidable batting line-up," he insisted.
Delhi pacer Ajit Agarkar agreed with his former India teammate, Dravid, and was also of the view that Morkel's penultimate over was the turning point of the game.
"There is always hope in Twenty20 till the last ball is bowled. They (Rajasthan) were in the driver's seat in the majority part of the match till Morne's over," he said.
"12 runs from the last over is always a tough ask." Asked whether they 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."