Pune, Elated after his match-winning maiden T20 century, an emotional Sanju Samson said he is “blessed” to be part of the Delhi Daredevils, who beat Rising Pune Supergiant by 97 runs in an Indian Premier League (IPL) 2017 contest at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium here on Thursday.
“Very happy to play this knock and very happy that the team won the match,” Samson, who was adjudged the Man of the Match for his 63-ball 103, said after the match.
“I am blessed to be a part of this team, working with Rahul sir and the rest of the support staff. I am in a very good space of mind and the people here have always backed me and encouraged me.”
“I am very keen to finish innings and make my team win matches. I am learning about it and hopefully I will get better in the coming years. Morris hit some big ones and Rishabh Pant also batted well. We played a very good match. I enjoyed my fielding and batting today,” he added.
The Daredevils needed an all-round effort to shed off their opening game’s loss to the Royal Challengers Bangalore and skipper Zaheer Khan emphasised how desperate the team was for this massive win.
“A win changes the atmosphere. It creates self-belief, and from that point of view, this is important. We needed that win,” said Zaheer, who returned figures of 3/20.
“This team has tremendous potential, we just need to back ourselves. We have some amazing talent, you see Samson batting like that and Morris going at it in the end. It’s just about focusing on our processes. We have guys like (Kasigo) Rabada and (Mohammed) Shami and Jayant (Yadav) who has a Test hundred sitting out.”
“It’s good to look at the bench and see that we have the firepower. I think I have strong muscle memory. Those 92 Test matches have helped me find the right length. I am lucky to have the physios guiding me the right way and I am enjoying myself,” he added.
Dejected at the kind of loss the home side suffered, stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane acknowledged that his team has a lot to work on.
“There are a couple of areas for improvement, still early days in the tournament and I am sure we will learn. We thought 180-190 would we good on this wicket, but credit to Delhi for the way they batted, especially Sanju (Samson) in the middle overs and Chris Morris in the end,” he said.
“I think our bowlers, I felt in the middle bowled very well. But in the last three overs, they got the momentum — Sanju, the way they carried the innings and those sixes by Morris. When you are chasing 200-plus, you need to take your chances,” he added.