All-rounder Irfan Pathan, who starred in Delhi Daredevils win over Kolkata Knight Riders in a rain-hit IPL match, credited the Eden Gardens wicket for the triumph saying that it got better after the downpour in the truncated game here.
Pathan smashed an unbeaten 42 from 20 balls to hand Delhi Daredevils a winning start in their opening match that ended well past midnight at the Eden Gardens here.
Chasing 98 from 12 overs, Delhi Daredevils coasted to an eight-wicket victory 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 it (the wicket) got settled because of the rain. The ball came nicely to the bat," Irfan, who was adjudged the man of the match, told reporters in the post-match media interaction.
Irfan Pathan hit an unbeaten 42 from 20 balls against KKR. Pic/AFP
Irfan who hit Knight Riders pacer Marchant de Lange for two sixes said the South African's pace was just perfect on this wicket. "It was coming nicely to bat. His pace, it seemed, was just right for batting on this pitch."
"Absolutely, 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 changed the whole momentum for us," Irfan said giving credit to Morne Morkel who took three for 18.
"When you lose two wickets in an over, it's tough to set a target. But they (Kolkata Knight Riders) 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 faced his elder brother Yusuf in the penultimate over of the chase and hit a boundary to make the equation in favour of Delhi. "That's the only thing I don't look forward to. He is my brother and I've emotional attachment. He will be with me for the whole my life. Somewhere down the line he was bowling a crucial over and I hit a four. Hope my family is not too angry with me," he said with a smile.
Irfan 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," he said.
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."