Delhi Daredevils v Rajasthan Royals, IPL 2012, Kotla April 29, 2012

Morkel inspires incredible Delhi win


Delhi Daredevils 152 for 6 (Sehwag 63, Pankaj 2-25) beat Rajasthan Royals 151 for 3 (Rahane 84*, Morkel 1-26) by one run
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Morne Morkel bowled a sensational penultimate over to turn a straightforward chase from Rajasthan Royals on its head and snatch victory for Delhi Daredevils. The victory creates daylight between Daredevils and the rest of the chasing pack, as they remain at the top of the points table.

Royals required 15 runs off the last two overs, with nine wickets in hand and victory seemed a foregone conclusion. But, Morkel gave away only three runs in an over filled with yorkers and claimed the wicket of Brad Hodge to set up a tense final over. The fourth ball was fired down the leg side but the umpire, to Hodge's surprise, didn't call a wide. It was a crucial decision as only one run separated the teams in the end.

Umesh Yadav was tasked with defending 12 runs for Daredevils against the in-form Ajinkya Rahane. Yadav started off with a fast full toss that Rahane missed. Desperation took over as Rahane looked to smash the next delivery, no matter what its length, and ended up mistiming his slices and breaking his bat. Owais Shah stole a single off the inside edge before Rahane hit the first six of the Royals innings, off a full toss to take back the advantage.

Two more runs came off the penultimate ball, which left two to get off the final one. Yadav kept it full, Rahane missed but ran anyway and Shah was not quick enough. Naman Ojha hit the stumps to run Shah out and deny Rahane victory, leaving him unbeaten on 84.

Rahane and Rahul Dravid are the most successful opening pair in this edition of the IPL and they showed why with a stand of 99 to set up the chase. Rahane started their reply in quietly confident fashion when Rahane flicked the first ball he faced - a poor one on legstump line from Irfan Pathan - for four.

Dravid rolled out his vintage drives and showed off powerful pulls as the Daredevils bowlers' lines and lengths presented no challenge. The two combined in a partnership that looked too easy, Dravid played with Sehwag-esque styled aggression while Rahane, once again, impressed with his timing and poise.

By the end of the eighth over, Royals needed less than 100 runs to win and Rahane and Dravid had racked up the same number of runs, 27 each. Rahane eclipsed his captain, reclaimed the orange cap and brought up his 50 with a finesse-filled flick to on the leg-side.

Daredevils thought they had some success when Dravid began walking after a cut that was thought to be caught behind but umpire Rod Tucker called him back. Tucker said he gave Dravid out when he saw him walking as it was the end of the over, but the misunderstanding gave Dravid a lifeline. He added only three more runs after that incident and was caught at long-on by a leaping Ajit Agarkar.

Rahane was unmoved by the dismissal and marched on, right to the brink of victory. He was only tripped up in the penultimate over and even then did not give up without a fight, as he scooped Yadav for six and very nearly gave Royals victory.

Daredevils may have thought their total was not enough after an underwhelming effort with the bat, save for Virender Sehwag's half-century and a last-over blitz from Nagar. Sehwag became the first player to score four consecutive half-centuries in the IPL and rebuilt Daredevils innings by himself after two early blows.

Mahela Jayawardene and Kevin Pietersen were dismissed in the first three overs but Sehwag's full range of shots was on hand to resurrect matters. He pulled, reverse swept, drove and struck two stunning sixes over long-off and long-on. Just as he threatened to take the innings away from Royals, they dismissed him when Ashok Menaria took a well-judged catch off a back foot cut.

Ross Taylor had been an almost absent partner in the stand with Sehwag and was bowled the over after Sehwag departed. Taylor looked to take a Pankaj delivery from outside off and flick on the leg-side but did not make contact and was bowled.

Brad Hogg's wrong un's and Cooper and Amit Singh's changes of pace ensured Ojha and Nagar could barely get away. Ojha managed a six before mistiming a shot to long-on but Nagar enjoyed a good last over, hitting two full tosses for six to push Daredevils past 150. In the end, it was just enough.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • giri on April 30, 2012, 14:24 GMT

    Sehwag and Gambhir are good only on flat and slow indian pitches. We didn't forget how they played in Australia and England (0-8). In IPL any tom, dick and harry can hit like they do.

  • Dummy4 on April 30, 2012, 12:47 GMT

    This is not the first time umpire Ravi is making wrong calls. He should be removed from the umpires panel for this biased decision which cost underdogs RR the match. I wont agree that RR had their game plan wrong. Bringing the score to a gettable 15 from 2 overs is not a result of bad planning. But they did not plan for umpire Ravi's cruel jokes!

  • Dummy4 on April 30, 2012, 11:08 GMT

    For the people who are supporting RR because of not calling Morney's ball a wide, you guys should be happy and thank the umpires for not allowing Morney to bowl the extra ball, otherwise RR would have lost another wicket and go into more pressure than it happened.

    Also the fact is that RR shouldn't have delayed the match until the last couple of overs, they should have gone for the kill well before as they had 9 wickets in hand.

  • Dummy4 on April 30, 2012, 10:29 GMT

    I hope the IPL committee docks umpire S Ravi his match fee for dis-allowing a wide in Morne Morkel's 19th over. RR would have won with one extra run from the wide ball and another ball to score from.

  • Dummy4 on April 30, 2012, 10:08 GMT

    Lot has been said about the umpiring here... Ball not given wide in the penultimate over, when RR were just cruising to victory... this is ridiculous as if everyone has assumed that RR were counting on wides/no balls to win them match rather than the batters... The stats just below the article showed that the whole of RR team i.e. Rahul, Ajinkya, Brad, Owais played 41 dots among themselves out 120 possible legal deliveries (although DD's played 51 dots, but that irrelevant as they went 6 down by the end of their innings and Ross got stuck on a sluggish wicket) indicating that RR were more inclined to win with wickets in hand rather than balls, logic behind which cannot be explained... Yeah, that was a mistake by an umpire and he should have called it a wide... but still taking match to the last over was never required and RR payed for the flawed strategy... All in all, it was a good match to watch...RR loyals will blame the umpire, but thats the beauty of sports... Unpredictable...

  • Dummy4 on April 30, 2012, 9:49 GMT

    before the match Andre Russell have said.. If DD wins it would be a great Birth-day gift for him..!! I wonder..!!! This victory was the perfect him..!! Absolutely incredible..!!((( Who said T20 is batsmen's game..???)))

  • Rahul on April 30, 2012, 8:47 GMT

    Apart from the obviously wide ball from Morkel, wasn't there a shot from Rahane which cleared the ropes but was given as four? i remember thinking at the time that this will come back to haunt them and i guess it did!

  • Dummy4 on April 30, 2012, 8:16 GMT

    I am from Punjab & big fan of RR since first IPL in 2008, the way they played till 38th over yesterday was superb & they gave strong DD a great run for money. But i am so disappointed by the end result of this match till now i am unable to digest that bitter truth that RR lost the match yesterday. Hey RR, go & smash down DD in next match..Halla Bol

  • shailesh on April 30, 2012, 8:05 GMT

    @Mari2madhu: bang on mate in your observation... in this years IPL, runrate might come into consideration as many teams are vying for the top 4 spots. so after 10 overs when RR found themselves in a commanding position, they must have blown the DD away. after all even DD players were going through motions until penultimate over!! and to all those who blame the umpires, umpiring decisions are a part of the game. i know that RR were at the receiving end this time. its as if, RR's entire gameplan of victory was dependent on that one ball!!!! they must have won with atleast 2-3 overs to spare...

  • heshan on April 30, 2012, 8:03 GMT

    it''s ridiculous how players like shewag ,rahane & gayle perform in IPL.But they all noway near in international cricket(test cricket).Especially IND players are looking strongest players in T20 format.But what happen to them when it go to international T20s.That''s why we possibly say"IND are champions in IND"

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