The see-saw match could have gone either way but Andrew Symonds' [ Images ] back-to-back strike tilted the IPL final in Deccan Chargers' [ Images ] favour, believe rival captains Adam Gilchrist [ Images ] and Anil Kumble [ Images ].
Chasing a modest 144, the Royal Challengers [ Images ] Bangalore seemed cruising for victory when Symonds intervened in the 15th over, claiming the crucial wickets of Ross Taylor [ Images ] and Virat Kohli [ Images ] off successive deliveries.
"The match could have gone either way, Bangalore played so well," Deccan Chargers captain Gilchrist said in Johannesburg on Sunday.
"I think for us, Pragyan Ojha [ Images ] did really well claiming three crucial wickets but those two wickets in two balls, that really hurts especially when a team is chasing," Gilchrist said.
Bangalore captain Anil Kumble too felt his team lost the plot there.
"On this track, chasing 144 was not a big task and we needed seven runs an over. But losing Taylor and Kohli in two balls hurt," Kumble said.
"Earlier, we lost Rahul [Dravid] and that put the brakes on. We didn't have partnerships and still were one hit away from a win," said Kumble, who was adjudged Man of the Match for his four-wicket haul.
The defeat notwithstanding, Kumble credited his team-mates for the incredible turnaround in the tournament.
"Two weeks ago, after the match against Mumbai [ Images ], we said it was tough to win five in a row and reach the final. I credit my team-mates for doing just that and coming so far," Kumble said.
"Of course it was so near and yet so far but it was a good game of cricket today," he added.
Kumble said it was a deliberate ploy to open the attack, since he wanted to take on Deccan's hard-hitting captain Gilchrist.
"If you let someone like Gilchrist get away, he would run away with the match. It was for me to put up my hand and bowl. Fortunately it worked well," he said.
Gilchrist, who was adjudged the Golden Player of the League, was effusive in his praise of the youngsters in the team and he singled out Harmeet Singh, who took two wickets besides a stunning catch, for special praise.
"We have a number of youngsters in the side and all of then are eager to learn and grow. It was amazing to see Harmeet tonight, the way he bowled and then took that amazing catch," he said.
Kings XI Punjab [ Images ] won the Fairplay trophy.