It was a case of so near and yet so far for Delhi Capitals (DC) against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in their Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 match on Tuesday in Ahmedabad.
Chasing a target of 172-runs, the last season's finalist lost the match at Narendra Modi Stadium by one run despite an unbeaten 78-run stand between skipper Rishabh Pant (58 off 48) and Shimron Hetmyer (53 off 25).
The chase, which got delayed thanks to an unexpected sandstorm, was fascinating, but the ills of a poor last over during RCB's innings effectively sealed the match in favour of Virat Kohli & Co.
After the match, Pant hails Hetmyer and also defended using Marcus Stoinis in the last over, which leaked 23 runs with AB de Villiers hitting the Aussie all-rounder for three sixes.
"Obviously feeling disappointed, specially when you are on the losing side. They got 10-15 runs extra on this wicket. Hetty (Hetmyer) played a brilliant innings, because of him we got close to the target," Pant said about the Windies' whirlwind innings.
In an unusual move, Pant handed the ball to Stoinis, who hadn't bowled in the entire match, in the last over. Explaining the move, Pant said: "In the last over, we were thinking whoever gets the ball has to finish the job for the team.
"That's what we were planning, in the end we were one run short. We counted the overs really well, in the end the spinners weren't getting the help which we thought they might get. In the end, I had to give the ball to Stoinis."
This was Delhi's second defeat of the season in six matches. They are now third in the IPL 2021 points table with eight points.
Delhi next face Kolkata Knight Riders in the 25th match of the season at the same ground.