It was a game of what if for the Delhi Capitals. What if Khaleel Ahmed took the catch to send off Kyle Mayers? It well and truly could have been the game but as it turned out, a grassed chance put Delhi into a long night of misery, with Mayers going on to score a match-winning 38-ball 73, where he looked threatening to score more.
Delhi’s head coach, Ricky Ponting made no polite remarks, stating that the Capitals were ‘sloppy’ in the field after the first four overs. The Australian also added that Lucknow got more runs with the bat than they deserved, pointing out the number of missed opportunities from the Delhi fielders.
"To be totally honest, I think they got more runs than they probably should have," said Ponting after the game. "I don't think we helped ourselves in the field today. Our fielding after the first four overs was really sloppy."
"A couple of chances went down, a few misfields. One of those chances that went down was Mayers', who ended up going on a bit of a run after that, which put us behind the game a little bit."
As Ponting pointed out, the Indian Premier League is such a tournament that you miss your opportunity, someone else is there to take theirs, and that’s exactly what Mayers did, when he was dropped on 14.
"The thing with giving chances in the IPL is you're giving very good players a second opportunity. And he cashed in. For pretty much from that moment on, he hit everything in the middle. He attacked our spin, which he played really well. So that's just a good lesson for us," Ponting admitted.
"We know that we have to be really sharp in the field. You can't afford to put chances down, and if you do, you have to expect that they're going to make you pay. There are a few reasons why we lost the game, and we'll address those and hopefully improve for our next game."
On a slow surface such as Lucknow, it was important for power-hitting to take acceleration, and that’s exactly what Mayers and co did - hit 16 sixes.
"I think we conceded 16 sixes in our bowling innings. That goes to show that we were a fair bit off with our execution with our bowling," Ponting remarked.
"Whenever you're giving up 16 sixes, and there's only five fours, which is quite remarkable. So, whenever you're giving up that many, it's going to be hard to drag yourself back into the game."
Delhi will be itching to go back to their home venue, Arun Jaitley Stadium in a bid to change their fortune, on April 4 against the defending champions, Gujarat Titans.