Sunrisers Hyderabad bowler Dale Steyn celebrates the wicket of Pune Warriors Ashok Dinda with teammates during the IPL T20 match at Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Hyderabad. HT/Santosh Harhare
After Sunrisers Hyderabad's 22-run win over Pune Warriors India in the Pepsi Indian Premier League (IPL) in Hyderabad on Friday night, Dale Steyn said his team fought well to begin the campaign on a winning note.
Steyn, who claimed three wickets for 11 runs in 3.5 overs, said Sunrisers bowled well, batted well and assessed the conditions pretty well.
"It was nice one to get off the mark. We fought well tonight, which is a good sign for a new team. New franchise is normally about discovering yourself but we played like a team that had been together for two years with the new coach and everything. It was fantastic," the South African said.
On Sunrisers scoring 126 after being put into bat by Pune Warriors, the fast bowler said they were probably 20 runs short.
"But I think we bowled consistently well so to get ourselves back into the game. At one stage we were probably looking at 6 or 6.5 runs in an over with, may be, two big overs getting us to 150. Even 140 plus would have been a great score on this particular wicket. To defend 126 it was good."
Steyn, one of the best bowlers in the world, said it was more a bowler friendly wicket. "It was not a free flowing wicket. You could not quite just go out there and play shots. The ball was not quite getting on to the bat.
"It had a bit of the tennis ball bounce. It wasn't the best wicket that we had in Hyderabad. But I think we bowled well, we batted well and we assessed conditions pretty well. Good hard fighting game tonight. It was well fought."
The South African said he, along with Ishant Sharma, built pressure where they can get wickets. "We did that fantastically well tonight. We bowled in great areas."
He feels that bowling is a lot better with Ishant Sharma back in the team. On man-of-the match Thisara Perera, Steyn said: "He replaces Daniel Christian who is also a game changer for us, and that is what exactly Perera is doing for us."
Steyn believes Sunrisers will do well this season if it bowls well. "If we bowl well, we are going to do well this season. Batsmen always look to score 140, 150 and 160 whatever it is but if you can bowl well, you can bowl teams out in 20 overs, you are going to win lot of games," he added.
Pune Warriors' Rahul Sharma said they lost the match as their batting failed to click. "It is important that your batting click in 20-20. Unfortunately we did not click and that is why we lost this match," he said.
He believes that it would not be difficult for the team to bounce back after losing the first game, as the team which plays well on the day of the match will win.
Sharma said since Angelo Mathews was the new captain, it would take some time to have better understanding in the team.