Nortje shared his thoughts after Delhi Capitals defeated Chennai Super Kings (CSK) by 44 runs at the Dubai International Stadium in the Indian Premier League (IPL) on Friday.
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Shreyas Iyer-led Delhi defended a total of 175 as the side restricted CSK to just 131/7. Axar Patel once again dismissed CSK’s Shane Watson, which was the sixth time in the IPL that the spinner has dismissed the former Australia all-rounder.
“I just think Axar is pretty consistent. He is an awesome bowler and especially it’s nice to be able to use him in the powerplay. He is very clear in his plans and maybe that’s what makes Watson struggle against him,” said Nortje during the post-match press conference.
Put in to bat first against CSK, Delhi managed to post a total of 175/3 in the allotted twenty overs, led by Prithvi Shaw’s innings of 64 runs. Wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant contributed with an unbeaten knock of 37 runs.
The side had suffered a batting collapse in their first match against Kings XI Punjab, but against CSK, the Iyer-led Delhi batted cautiously in the first six overs in order to not lose early wickets.
“After the match against Kings XI Punjab, we just said to each other that we need to assess things a little better and the boys clearly showed that in the match against Chennai. They played really well at the front and we were able to build partnerships,” said Nortje.
“The boys assessed the conditions very well. Once they started to get the feel of it, they were able to accelerate,” he added.
Defending a decent total, Delhi were on top throughout the game as they kept taking wickets at regular intervals. Kagiso Rabada took three wickets while Nortje struck twice.
When asked whether the Dubai wicket got slower during the course of the match, Nortje replied: “It was skidding a bit later on. I wouldn’t say it slowed down…It was a little stickier at the start. When we were bowling, there was a little dew, so that made the ball skid on; it might have quickened up.”
Delhi Capitals have now won their opening two matches of this year’s IPL and the side will next lock horns with SunRisers Hyderabad on Tuesday (September 29) at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.