Nortje (L) and Rabada
Nortje (L) and Rabada
File picture


Knowing the capability of others in the team has been the secret for success with the Delhi Capitals. And that is the reason for they are among the top teams in this edition of the Indian Premier League, under way in UAE.

And after defending a small total of 160-odd runs against Rajasthan Royals on Wednesday, Shikhar Dhawan said it all, his teammates at Delhi Capitals know it will be a job well done whenever the ball is handed to the lethal pace duo of Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje.

Capitals registered a thrilling 13-run victory over Rajasthan Royals on the back of an incredible death overs bowling by their pace attack comprising Rabada, Nortje and rookie Tushar Deshpande.

Nortje (2/33) was breathtakingly fast, bowling in the mid 150 kmph. He gave away just four runs and took a wicket in the 18th over and Rabada (1/28) followed that up with a three-run over for a wicket.

"Nortje and Rabada are great bowlers, Rabada is a legend, and when they both bowl as a partnership, it is lethal," Dhawan, who took over the captaincy duties from an injured Shreyas Iyer, said at the post-match press conference.

"They have been taking early wickets and when we bring them back during the death overs or the middle overs, we know they will do the job.

"We are fortunate to have this class of bowling. The spinners have also been doing their job. The way (Ravichandran) Ashwin has been performing after the injury has been great. Everyone is performing and that is a sign of a good team," he added.

Deshpande (2/37), who was given the ball in the final over, was able to defend 21 runs, restricting Rajasthan Royals to 148/8 on his debut IPL game. Earlier in the innings he had scalped the prized wicket of Ben Stokes.

"Tushar Despande was amazing, especially under such amount of pressure, we got him in and he responded nicely. He got the crucial wicket of Stokes, he kept his cool, he has been working really hard in the nets.

"Even in the last over, he was clear in his plans, really happy to see him do so well and he backed himself," Dhawan said.

Opting to bat, the Capitals posted 161/7 with the help of half centuries by Dhawan (57) and Iyer (53).

"Till 10th over, both the teams were equal and they were right up there in the chase. We talked about getting positive energy going, we knew if we got wickets at the top of the order, then we can come back in the match," Dhawan added.

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