Gautam Gambhir, the Delhi Daredevils captain, has put down his team's exit from the IPL to its inconsistency. Delhi fell short by 11 runs against Deccan Chargers in what was effectively a quarter-final. Both teams, playing their final league game, needed a win to fill up the fourth semi-final slot, but Delhi, despite restricting Deccan to a gettable 145, faltered in their chase.

"Whenever we have chased, we've lost early wickets. It's been up and down for us, we just haven't played as a team," Gambhir said after the game. "We needed to win two out of five and we lost four out of five, we can't afford to be that inconsistent. Hopefully next year will be a different story."

On the other hand, Deccan, who had been languishing at the bottom of the table with Kings XI Punjab after losing five games in a row, bounced back to win five in five to seal a place in the final four. Adam Gilchrist, their captain, called the fightback a "great team effort".

"We looked these last five games as a mini-tournament in itself, and we have belief in ourselves. It's been a great team effort," Gilchrist said. "Some guys like Symonds and Rohit have been very consistent. Everyone has chipped in their own way. We've managed to finish second, that's a wonderful credit to everyone."

Gilchrist lauded the performance of his bowlers, who kept chipping away at Delhi and defended what seemed like a below-par score with relative ease. "Outstanding game. It's been like this the whole tournament, great courage from out bowlers and they showed great character," he said.

Andrew Symonds was named Man of the Match for his 30-ball 54, which included five sixes. Symonds was dismissed in the 15th over, and the batsmen who followed had struggled to push on but the total they posted proved adequate. "I was pretty disappointed with the way I got out, and I felt responsible for our score," Symonds, who had holed out to long-off, said. "But I am really pleased with the way the boys have picked themselves up. We may not be the most skilful team in the competition but we have a goal.

"At times we may be a little ugly, but we are effective."