Orange cap holder Shikhar Dhawan heaped praise on Delhi Capitals’ bowling unit as they crushed Sunrisers Hyderabad by eight wickets on Wednesday. The left-handed opener, who scored 37-ball 42 to cross the 400-run mark this season, said that he made a conscious effort to accelerate the innings.
“I’m enjoying wearing the cap, I’m enjoying the way I’m timing the ball. Not very true, this surface, it stopped a bit, and we had to plan the game according to the wicket. So it was good to go out there and secure a win,” said Dhawan in the post-match presentation.
“I consciously made an effort to increase the tempo and strike-rate, because I wanted to be an impactful player for my side. It was just about the execution,” he further said.
Anrich Nortje (2/12), Kagiso Rabada (3/37) and Axar Patel (2/21) restricted Hyderabad to a modest 134-run total before Dhawan (42), Shreyas Iyer (47 not out) and Rishabh Pant (35 not out) scored runs with ease in Dubai.
Nortje, who walked away with the “Player of the Match” award for his daunting spell, said that he was happy to dismiss David Warner at the start. The South African pacer had picked 22 wickets in 16 matches in his first-ever IPL season in 2020, helping Capitals reach their maiden IPL final.
“Missing out in the first half was disappointing. It was good to have a good start to the tournament for me. Looking at the first game here, it was good to see some grass and then yesterday’s big score – didn’t know what to expect. It was good to keep things simple in the end,” he said.
With the win, Capitals also pipped Chennai to clinch the top spot in the points table with 14 points. Hyderabad, on the other hand, remain at the bottom, having recorded just one win out of eight so far in the tournament.
“Rabada and Nortje are our gun bowlers. Rabada always gets us the wicket. Nortje has great pace and his game has improved too, so they are troubling the batsmen. Absolutely enjoying being at the top of the table,” Dhawan signed off.
Losing skipper Kane Williamson accepted that his side was 25-30 runs short and credit “two of the best fast bowlers” for putting the Orange Army under pressure.
“We didn’t start well, didn’t register a decent partnership but never got any momentum, some good scores in the back-end, but pretty much 25-30 runs short. We did bowl well, we have defended modest scores in the past, but it wasn’t to be today which was a bit of a shame,” said Williamson.
“They got us into hard positions, perhaps if we hadn’t lost early wickets, we could have done differently, but Delhi were outstanding and played some smart cricket. We need to concentrate on the way we play and try to improve,” he added.