Dubai: The South African pace attack of Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje of Delhi Daredevils, by all accounts, have looked the sharpest among the new ball attacks in the Indian Premier League after the first week. While Rabada, currently the Purple Cap holder with five wickets, has looked capable of striking every time he came to bowl, the tall and intense looking Nortje has been complementing him with the speed he generates from an economic action and a nagging line.
“It’s just unbelievable! It’s great to get a wicket finally, I mean after not getting one in the first game. I felt like to come in and run in today, just give it my best, control what I generally do and I think at the end it paid off. So, I was just trying to do my thing at the end,” Nortje remarked after a two-wicket haul against Chennai Super Kings on Friday.
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Nortje, who went wicketless in his debut game against Kings XI Punjab (which Delhi won in Super Over), finally opened his account in the IPL by scalping two crucial wickets against three-time champions MS Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings. While defending the total of 176 runs, he bagged his first IPL wicket in the form of Murali Vijay during the last Powerplay over and then removed Kedar Jadhav in the 16th over to put his side in the driver’s seat.
Speaking on the team’s performance after thrashing the three-time champions, the 26-year-old Nortje said: “Like I said at the start, it’s been a good team spirit, good banter, positive getting along. Boys are nice and relaxed, so that’s really good. Even in the game, we know when to step it up and know when to relax, so it’s a good balance that the team has at the moment.”
In a message to the Delhi Capitals fans around the world, Nortje said he is thankful for all the love he is getting and is hopeful of getting the cup home for them. “I just want to say - thank you for the support. I would have loved to have you guys here. Hopefully, we can keep up the performances and just do best for our fans and for everyone who is supporting us. Thank you so much for your support and hopefully we can bring the cup back home,” he signed off.
Rabada has scalped five wickets in two matches and leads the chart. CSK pacer Sam Curran (five wickets in three games) and KXIP speedster Mohammad Shami (four from two) are the next two top wicket-takers.
Shreyas Iyer-led Delhi stand at the top of the points table with four points, having won both their first two games so far in the league. They are followed by KXIP, Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan Royals.