Morne's pluck & Devils' luck in last-ball thriller | india | Hindustan Times
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Morne's pluck & Devils' luck in last-ball thriller

The pacer brings Delhi into the game after Rahane threatens to take shine off Viru's fourth fifty in a row. Debjeet Kundu reports. Scorecard | The 19th sensation

india Updated: Apr 30, 2012 01:32 IST
Debjeet Kundu

Sportsmen are no exception when it comes to superstition. His batting may be unorthodox, but Virender Sehwag is extremely superstitious about not having a jersey number — be it in India colours or in the Delhi Daredevils shirt.

And Sunday’s match against Rajasthan Royals was no different.

And the way the table toppers escaped with a nail-biting one run victory showed you need luck on your side when nothing else is going your way.

It is not every day that you see Rahul Dravid lose his cool. Set a target of 153, Dravid was again showing his class, and Irfan Pathan and left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem bore the brunt.

But when speedster Morne Morkel decided to use some verbal volleys to ruffle young Ajinkya Rahane, the Royals captain decided to show who’s still the big daddy at Ferozshah Kotla – only Sachin Tendulkar has scored more runs than him at this venue in the last 25 years.http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/Popup/2012/4/30_04_pg-14b.jpg

Dravid promptly intervened and sent back Morkel to his bowling run-up, cutting short the war of words. The next ball he faced of the South African speedster, he dispatched it to the mid-wicket boundary.

Umpire's special
Dravid also was left shocked after Aussie umpire Rod Tucker, seeing him walk to have a drink, thought he was ‘walking’ and upheld a casual appeal from the bowler, Irfan Pathan, after the batsman played and missed.

An embarrassed Tucker reversed his decision, leaving Dravid relieved and rival skipper Virender Sehwag and Pathan laughing. Eventually though, Pathan had Dravid brilliantly caught by Ajit Agarkar.

That's my cap
It was on Saturday night that Chris Gayle’s, after another hurricane innings, wrested the orange cap as the leading scorer. But he couldn’t wear it on the field as Virender Sehwag claimed it with a 39-ball 63 on Sunday. It was his fourth half-century in a row.

The home skipper gave the Kotla faithful much to cheer by staying focussed, and then making light of the effort with typical Sehwag-speak.http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/Popup/2012/4/30_04_pg-14a.jpg

“I’m not bothered about the strike rate, if I see the ball, I will hit it.” But weren’t the deliveries too straight for his liking? “If you play straight, you have a lot of options also!”

Sehwag though wore the orange cap only till the Royals were done with their chase. The man who had owned it for over three weeks reclaimed it. Ajinkya Rahane’s 84 not out off 63 balls made him the leading run-scorer again in IPL V. Although he regained it within 24 hours, the talented Mumbai batsman still couldn’t save the day.

Good farewell
Kevin Pietersen had tweeted he expected a full house for his last game here this season. The fans didn’t disappoint him, packing the stands despite the heat.

On the field, his teammates made sure the day ended perfectly. What till the 18th over looked like going Royals’ way was pulled back by Morkel’s super over. With 12 needed off the last over, Umesh Yadav held his nerves before the last-ball run out sealed the deal.

Scorecard