Kolkata: Allrounder Irfan Pathan, who starred in Delhi Daredevils' win over Kolkata Knight Riders in a rain-hit Indian Premier League (IPL) match on Thursday, credited the Eden Gardens wicket for the triumph, saying the pitch got better after the downpour. Pathan smashed an unbeaten 42 from just 20 balls to hand Delhi a winning start in their opening match of IPL 5 that ended well past midnight at the Eden Gardens.
Chasing 98 from 12 overs, Delhi coasted to an eight-wicket win with five balls to spare. "The wicket just got better. I've played at the Eden earlier and it's always on the slower side. Probably the wicket got settled because of the rain. The ball came nicely on to the bat," Irfan told reporters in the post-match media interaction.
Irfan, who was adjudged Man of the Match, hit Kolkata pacer Marchant de Lange for two sixes and said that the South African's pace was just perfect on that wicket. "It was coming nicely to bat. His pace, it seemed, was just right for batting on this pitch. It was a good toss to win. In shorter games you generally tend to panic. If you bat first you don't know what target to set. Morne [Morkel] changed the whole momentum for us," said Irfan, praising Morne who took 3 for 18.
"When you lose two wickets in an over, it's tough to set a target. But Kolkata are a good side. They still came close to us. It's a good win for us. It can take us a long way," said Irfan.
Irfan also thanked skipper Virender Sehwag for promoting him to No 3. "Virubhai wanted one left-hander at the top. I thank him for giving me the opportunity. I could express myself well." Irfan opened the bowling only to be taken out of the attack after conceding nine runs, but the seamer said he would hope to bowl more overs in the upcoming matches. "It's a long tournament. Hope I will get wickets in the coming matches."