Pune, Apr 11 (PTI) Centurion Sanju Samson said he was “blessed” to be working with batting legend Rahul Dravid, as the youngster aspired to be a consistent match-winner for Delhi Daredevils.
Samson struck IPL-10’s first century here tonight to power Delhi to a 97-run win over Rising Pune Supergiant. He knocked off 102 runs in just 63 balls at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium.
“I am very happy to play this knock and very happy that the team won the match,” Man of the Match Samson said at the presentation ceremony.
“I am blessed to be a part of this team, working with Rahul sir (team mentor) 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.”
The 22-year-old was all praise for DD teammate Chris Morris’s ability to hit the ball. Morris hammered 38 off only nine balls, his flurry of fours and sixes coming towards the end.
“Morris hit some big ones and Rishabh Pant also batted well. We played a very good match. I enjoyed my fielding and batting today,” Samson added.
Delhi skipper Zaheer Khan was relieved to have opened their account after losing the first match.
“We needed that. 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 Rabada and Shami and Jayant who has a Test hundred sitting out. It’s good to look at the bench and see that we have the firepower.”
The former India seamer returned impressive figures of three for 20.
“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.”
Further speaking about his side, Zaheer said, “We are a young side and we need to show that on the field, the energy needs to be visible. I try to push them a bit, but I think it comes naturally to them.
“We did a lot of things right in the first game. A win changes the atmosphere. It creates self-belief, and from that point of view, this is important.”
Leading the side in place of Steve Smith, who missed out due to an upset stomach, Ajinkya Rahane gave credit to Delhi.
“We thought 180-190 would we good on this wicket, but credit to Delhi for the way they batted, especially Sanju in the middle overs and Chris Morris in the end,” said Rahane.
He added, “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. There are a couple of areas for improvement, still early days in the tournament and I am sure we will learn.”
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.