New Delhi: Morne Morkel’s penultimate over changed the match in Delhi Daredevils favour as the hosts managed to beat Rajasthan Royals by one run in an IPL encounter at Ferozeshah Kotla here on Sunday.
Requiring just 15 runs of the last 12 balls with nine wickets in hands, the match was all but over in Royals favour but Morne Morkel had different plans with his Yorkers. He bowled a superb nineteenth over and bombarding the batsmen with Yorkers. That not only contained the runs but Morkel also managed to send a settled Brad Hodge back to pavilion, giving away just three runs in the over.
With Owais Shah on crease with Rahane and 12 runs to win, Sehwag handed over the ball to Umesh Yadav and the youngster bowled his heart out. First three balls of Yadav yielded just two runs and the pressure on Royals were evident. But then that classy shot from Rahane for a six brought them back into the game and a two off next ball made them the favourites again. However clever bowling from Yadav saw Rahane missing the ball and in an attempt to take a run for a tie, Owais Shah ran himself out.
Delhi now have 14 points and continue to cement their place at the top of the standings. Royals have 8.
Earlier batting first, riding on Virender Sehwag's 63 the hosts could manage only 152 on a batting friendly track at Feroze Shah Kotla. Sehwag was in sublime touch and gave his team a good start despite the early wickets of Mahela Jayawardena (6) and Kevin Pietersen (5). While the Sri Lankan was removed by Pankaj Singh, Pietersen fell to Ankeet Chavan. Sehwag smashed eight boundaries and two sixes en route to his personal march towards the orange cap, completing his fourth consecutive half-century. The other end though, was in complete shambles with Pankaj Singh retuning to claim Ross Taylor (25 off 35) and Amit Singh dislodging Naman Ojha (11 off 11).
Crediting the Delhi team for the thrilling victory, Ajinkya Rahane, who nearly snatched the match from the hand of the hosts, said that Daredevils played good cricket. “All credit goes to the Delhi team. They played really well. Morne was superb today. His last over was very crucial,” said Rahane, who made 84 of 63 balls has made him the highest run-getter in IPL-5 so far.
Rahane added that they would like to beat Delhi at their home ground when they play them next. “But then we need to do weel to beat Delhi. I and Rahul Dravid have been doing well at the top and would like to continue with the good opening stand that we have been giving so far. Stll seven games are left and we would like to get back to winning ways,” said Rahane.
Meanwhile, Morkel said that he had been working hard on his Yorkers. “I have been practicing hard on my Yorkers. It was a good match today. There were anxious moments. Rahane played well and put pressure on us with his batting. It was a good win at the end,” said Morkel