Blitzing Super Kings gives Delport a lift
While Dolphins might have fallen well short of the massive target of 243 set by Chennai Super Kings on Monday night in Bangalore, the very fact that they competed early on in the chase would give the South African franchise a boost, batsman Cameron Delport has said. Delport, who played a big role in Dolphins' spirited start, slamming 34 off nine, said the team knew the only way they could possibly chase down 243 was by putting some pressure back on Super Kings and hoping they cracked.
"It gives us massive confidence," Delport told clt20.com. "Today we played against Chennai Super Kings, who had a lot of Indian national stars and other reputed international cricketers. We know that if we can play well against them - either beat them or even just compete against them - it will help us mature as players. If we can handle these guys, we can definitely handle international cricket."
Super Kings had got to 242 for 6 having hit 16 sixes - eight of which came from Suresh Raina, who muscled his way to 90 off 43. Super Kings had got to 70 by the end of the six-over Powerplay, a Champions League T20 record that stood for just one innings; Dolphins smashed it, with their openers' brief but blistering cameos getting them past 50 in the third over. That third over belonged to Delport, who hit 6, 4, 4, 2, 4 before playing too early at a Mohit Sharma slower one to be bowled off the final delivery.
"We [he and fellow opener Morne van Wyk] knew that the wicket was really good and we wanted to get off to a really good start," Delport said. "Our game plan was to take the attack to them and look for a couple of early boundaries and put them on the back foot right from the beginning.
"We knew that their score was above average and our only chance of getting close was to put pressure on them. If we got boundaries off the first three balls of an over, the bowler would panic and it would be easier for us. We had a chat after the first innings and we said that if we get off to a good start, we had a good chance because we bat all the way down to No. 11. We did get that start but unfortunately the lower-middle order just collapsed there."
Delport said he had expected Mohit to bowl his signature slower ball at him, but still couldn't quite get his timing right. "I knew he was going to bowl a slower one and I was telling myself to just wait for it. It kind of skidded off and hit the top of leg stump. I knew he was going to bowl it and I can't believe I missed it."
Given his explosive cameo, Delport could well be on the radar of some IPL franchises, and that suits Delport. "I watch the IPL and the CLT20 every year and I have always wanted to be a part of these tournaments," he said. "To finally be here in this country playing in these big stadiums is an experience that will help me grow as a cricketer. I want to continue to be part of these tournaments."