Rajasthan Royals captain Rahul Dravid said it was pacer Morne Morkel who should get the credit for Delhi Daredevil’s thrilling one run win in the Indian Premier League (IPL) at the Feroze Shah Kotla here Sunday.
The lanky South African bowled a decisive penultimate over giving away just three runs and taking the wicket of Australian Brad Hodge, that left Rajasthan needing 12 runs off the last over.
Rajasthan cane tantalizingly close as they needed two to win off the last ball but wicketkeeper Naman Ojha ran out Owais Shah to give Daredevils the win.
“Obviously disappointed, the game was in our hands till the 18th over. We had done really well and had a lot of wickets. Morne bowled a great over, you have to give him credit. He gave away just three runs and took one wicket. He just bowled really well, it’s not like he gave us scoring opportunities, he nailed his yorkers,” Dravid told reporters here.
The former India captain felt that they should have tried to finish the game earlier but they were unlucky to miss out.
“In hindsight we should have not left it so late, we could have tried to finish a little earlier, sometimes you just have to credit the opposition bowler. We were unlucky to miss out on the last ball, it could have gone anywhere and that’s T20 cricket.”
Dravid said that Ajinkya Rahane, who top scored with 84 not out, had a bright future ahead of him and if he continued in the same vein he would do well for India too.
“He’s (Rahane) very disappointed we couldn’t win after playing such a great innings. He tried his best, he’s really batting extremely well this year in the IPL. He has very worked hard and he’s a crucial player for us. If he carries on in the same vein he will surely do well for the Indian squad as well,” he said.
Dravid though praised his team, specially his bowlers but lamented not winning the close games.
“We needed the points more than Delhi, they are sitting at the top of the table already. We are a young team, we have lost two ball games, it hurts, I feel bad for the boys, they are giving their best.
“Every time we are under the pump we comeback strongly, we fight hard, we are clever with our plans. Our bowling today was superb. It was exceptional the way we bowled against a strong Delhi batting line-up. Our young bowling attack was terrific but I’m sure we’ll bounce back.
“Winning these sort of matches will give us a big boost. Ajit (Agarkar) took a brilliant catch on the boundary and if that tips over, it changes the complexion. That’s the thing in T20 small things matter a lot. Overall it’s disappointing but we are looking to pick ourselves up,” he said.
A delighted Agarkar too seconded Dravid’s thought that the purple cap holder, Morkel proved to be difference between the two teams.
“They were obviously in the driver’s seat, majority of the game till Morne bowled the 19th over. Scoring 12 runs in the last over is never easy. It seemed at one stage we wouldn’t even get 150, it’s still a challenging total.
“We din’t get wickets early on but we still din’t let them get away in the first 8-9 overs. My catch wasn’t the turning point, it was Morne’s over. Catch helped a little but they still had a nine wickets in hand. The 19th over was really crucial.”
Agarkar who took a brilliant catch off Dravid at the long-on boundary was of the opinion that the wicket was slow and it was difficult to score quickly.
“We would have liked to get a few more runs on the board but it was a different wicket from the previous night. It was a bit slow so shot making wasn’t that easy. We still had runs on the board and they had to go get them.“