On the second consecutive day of low-scoring encounters in the Indian Premier League, it was once again the team batting first that came up unlikely winners. Delhi Capitals, winning the toss and batting first in Ahmedabad scored 130/8 at the end of 20 overs and then ended up defending their total, beating the Gujarat Titans by five runs.

The Titans ended with a scoreline of 125/6, with skipper Hardik Pandya even scoring a half-century. But it was the low-scoring rate, coupled with some tight bowing by DC and regular wickets that saw the hosts suffer their third defeat of the season after nine matches.

Pandya scored an unbeaten 59 off 53, but as the Titans required 12 off the last over, he watched most of the proceedings from the non-strikers’ end. As such, he was left to rue the failure to capitalise on a low target, but took responsibility for the loss.

“We would have taken 130 on any given day. Just lost a couple of wickets. At the end Rahul got us back in the game, I tried my best but couldn’t capitalise. It boils down to me,” Pandya said after the match.

“We were hoping to get a couple of big overs in the middle, but we could not get rhythm as well. It was new to Abhinav (Manohar, 26 off 33). It boils down to how I was not able to finish the game. Full marks to the bowler, and full ownership on me where I could not finish the game. I should have.”

GT’s batting innings began with Khaleel Ahmed bowling a wicket-maiden, dismissing Wriddhiman Saha for a duck in the first over and setting the tone for what was to be a tough evening for the hosts.

Pandya though asserted that the pitch conditions had nothing to do with the loss.

“The wicket was good enough. It was more about wicket-pressure, I don’t think the wicket played much of a role. Yes, it was a tad slower than what we’re used to. But they bowled really well, we lost some early wickets and we had to take some time. From 10 overs (to get) 80, we would have taken again. But we could not get the rhythm. At the end, Rahul (Tewatia, 20 off 7) got us back in the game otherwise they were quite ahead,” he said.

“Intent had to be there. It’s just we lost a couple of wickets – if you keep losing wickets it’s very difficult to keep the intent. We lost this game because I couldn’t get my rhythm and we lost wickets at the start, which put us under pressure. Again, 130, we would like to take it deep and hope to get some big overs, which we did not get.”

In the first innings, the Capitals had a rough start as well, losing Phil Salt in the very first delivery. Skipper David Warner was out in the first ball of the second over, and the wickets continued to tumble. Axar Patel and Aman Khan managed to steady the ship briefly, before Ripal Patel’s quickfire 23 off 13 helped take the Capitals to 130.

Central to the Titans’ strong showing in the first innings though was Mohammed Shami. The 32-year-old – the eventual player of the match, despite the loss, finished with figures of 4/11 in his four overs.

“I feel sorry for him to be honest,” Pandya said.

“If you bowl like that and (restrict) the team to 130... I think the batters disappointed. I don’t think the ball did a lot, it was just Mohammed Shami’s skill set. He made the ball talk. Otherwise for fast bowlers it didn’t have much assistance. But the way he kept bowling four (overs) on the trot, and got us in the game, full credit to him.

“But it’s the batters, in particularly myself, we did not finish and we disappointed today.”

Despite the loss, the Titans are still top of the IPL table with 12 points, winning six of their nine games. Pandya though is certain his team can bounce back from the loss.

“There’s still lots of games left. We’ll take the learnings from this game and rectify what we could have done and move on. We’ve won a lot of games from the same situation,” he added.

“We are still top of the table, but we need to keep playing good cricket. We are doing that, we still played (well) today, we just didn’t finish it.”

The Titans next play an away match against the Rajasthan Royals in Jaipur on May 5.