Millennium Post

Rahane's brilliance in vain, as Delhi snatch one run win

Ajinkya Rahane's superb 84-run knock went in vain as Delhi Daredevils pulled off a dramatic one-run win against Rajasthan Royals to open up a three-point lead at the top of the Indian Premier League, here on Sunday.

Chasing a challenging 153 to win, Rajasthan were so close to win as they needed just 15 runs off the last two overs but Morne Morkel and Umesh Yadav snatched the win for Delhi out of the jaws of defeat by conceding just 13 runs.

Morkel conceded just three runs in the penultimate over and also dismissed Brad Hodge (22) to turn the tide in the favour of his side.

Rajasthan needed two runs off the final ball after Rahane smashed Yadav for a six and took two in the fourth and fifth balls. However Rahane missed the last ball and Owais Shah was run out while attempting a single.

The unpredictability of the Twenty20 format was on display at its best as Rajasthan were running away with an upset win after the openers -- Rahane and his skipper Rahul Dravid (40) -- raised a 99-run stand for the first wicket.

Rahane and Hodge then added 42 for the second wicket but it turned out to be a case of close yet so far, for Rajasthan.

Delhi had put up a challenging 152 for six after Virender Sehwag smashed a 63 off 39 balls at the top and Yogesh Nagar (27 off 20) provided the fireworks in the end.

With his knock Sehwag became the only batsman in the history of IPL to score four consecutive half-centuries.

Rajasthan's bowling was tight and except the last over when they leaked 20 overs, they made the formidable Delhi batting line-up to work hard for runs.

It was a difficult wicket for stroke-making but Rahane and Dravid read the track well and responded to the challenge sensibly. They kept finding boundaries but never attempted shots which risked losing wicket.

However, despite all the hard work, victory slipped out of their hands as they finished 151 for three.

Skipper Rahul Dravid, who along with Rahane started off the chase with 50 runs partnership expressed his frustration. 'It was disappointing to lose from that position. We had the game within our grasp till the 18th over, but Morne's 19th over was crucial. He bowled really good balls. We must give credit to him the way he bowled under pressure,' Dravid said at the post-match press conference.

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