Chasing 147 against Sunrisers Hyderabad, Delhi Daredevils needed 69 from the last 10 overs with seven wickets in hand. Any team would back themselves to chase it down, but against a bowling line-up of Hyderabad, it can get tricky.
With the likes of Mustafizur Rahman and Ashish Nehra in good form,and Delhi’s set batsmen Quinton de Kock back in the pavilion,one bad step by Delhi could have ended Delhi’s chances in the match.
But then youngsters Sanju Samson and Rishabh Pant put on match-winning partnership, to help Delhi register its sixth win in ten matches. They handled Mustafizur Rahman so comfortably, that it completely eased the pressure off them in the chase.
Talking about it, Delhi all-rounder Chris Morris said that video analysis helped them to play Rahman well.
“I think we took a little bit of time, obviously, watching the videos of how Steven Smith played him. And then how Ashwin played him in the last game. Especially, for right-handers,” Morris said, in the post-match press conference on Thursday (May 12).
Steven Smith handled Mustafizur brilliantly when Rising Pune Supergiants played against Hyderabad last month, dispatching him for four fours in the two overs he played off him. Smith managed to read the ball off the bowler’s hands to accordingly nullify the impact of his variations. When these two teams met for the second time, in Visakhapatnam on May 10, Ravichandran Ashwin used the ploy of shuffling across and stepping down the track off the few deliveries of Mustafizur that he faced.
Rishabh Pant has been one of the most exciting prospects of this season. In the few opportunities that have come by, he has shown the world what he is capable of. His 72-run partnership again Samson last night paved the way for Delhi Daredevils.
“He’s an unbelievable bowler at the age of 20. It’s scary to see. So for a guy who’s doing so well in the IPL, his first IPL especially, we’ve got to pick up the box to try and combat what he’s putting down. There’s a lot of hard work that goes on behind the scenes that a lot of people don’t know. We analyse quite a lot and come up with game plans. And fortunately, it worked today,” Morris said.
“Look, I think when you’ve got Rishabh Pant, who’s an unbelievable talent – he just comes in and ‘see the ball, hit the ball’. It doesn’t matter who the bowler is. It’s unbelievable to watch. I thought he played outstandingly. We’ll take a lot of confidence out of this win,” Morris said.
“I think the key was we played cricket shots. You know, there wasn’t slogging. There was genuine cricket shots. Quiney [de Kock] showed us today how to play a ball that’s swinging. You’ve got experience in Nehra and you’ve got Bhuvi, who swings it both ways. So I thought it was excellent from the way they played today. I take my hat off to Mr. Pant and Sanju, because they played outstanding knocks today,” Morris added.