Table toppers Delhi Daredevils won their seventh game in the Indian Premier League (IPL) in a thrilling last-ball one-run finish against Rajasthan Royals here yesterday, thereby consolidating their position in the standings.
A packed Feroz Shah Kotla was treated to a humdinger, with Virender Sehwag once again starring with the bat for Delhi with 63 off 36 balls. But the hero of the match would have to be South African pacer and purple cap holder Morne Morkel.
With Rajasthan requiring just 15 runs off two overs, the South African pacer gave away just three runs in the penultimate over and took the wicket of Brad Hodge (22). Wicketkeeper Naman Ojha affected a good run out of Owais Shah (1) in the last ball to stop the match from going to a super-over.
Ajinkya Rahane played a delightful 84 off 63 balls and took Rajasthan ever so close to the target. Rajasthan, who restricted Delhi to 152 for six, seemed to be cantering to victory courtesy skipper Rahul Dravid (40) and Rahane 99-run opening partnership.
The former India captain was quick off the the block but his younger and more adventurous opening partner soon overtook him. Requiring 86 off the last 10 overs, the visitors stumbled towards the end.
Dravid was sent packing courtesy a blinder by Ajit Agarkar at the long-on fence. Delhi batting first for only the second time in IPL-V, lost Mahela Jayawardene (6) and Kevin Pietersen (5) early in the innings.
Pietersen has been in sparkling form this season scoring 269 runs with an unbeaten century to his name. He started well today also but his innings came to a premature end courtesy a smart catch by Dravid in first slip.
After early jitters, Sehwag and Ross Taylor (25) brought sense to the proceedings with an 80-run stand for the third wicket. Sehwag announced his intentions by smashing Kevon Cooper for a six over long in the sixth over and then the very next over smacked Ankit Chavan for two fours.
Delhi Daredevils: Jayawardene c Hogg b P Singh 6, Sehwag c Menaria b Hogg 63, Pietersen c Dravid b Chavan 5, Taylor b P Singh 25, Nagar c Chavan b A Singh 27, Ojha c Dravid b A Singh 11, Irfan Pathan not out 7, Ajit Agarkar not out 0
Extras: (B-1, LB-4, WD-3) 8; Total: (For 6 wickets in 20 overs) 152; FOW: 1-13, 2-19, 3-99, 4-104, 5-125, 6-148; Bowling: Chavan 4-0-30-1, P Singh 4-0-25-2, A Singh 4-0-41-2, Cooper 4-0-19-0, B Hogg 4-0-31-1.
Rajasthan Royals (Target 153): Dravid c Agarkar b Pathan 40, Rahane not out 84, Hodge lbw b Morkel 22, Shah run out ( Ojha) 1, Extras: (W-4) 4; Total: (for 3 wickets in 20 overs) 151; FOW: 1-99, 2-141, 3-151; Bowling: Pathan 4-0-27-1, Nadeem 4-0-30-0, Morkel 4-0-26-1, Yadav 4-0-35-0, Agarkar 4-0-33-0.