New Delhi: Delhi Daredevils bowling unit came a cropper as they failed to defend a competitive 178 against Chennai Super Kings, but opener Murali Vijay said that the bowlers should be given credit for the way they fought back in the end.
"Look 178 is a very good score. There are always 'ifs' and 'buts' in a T20 game. But to be honest with you, we really fought back well in the end. They were cruising with Brendon McCullum and Dwayne Smith batting in the 10th over, so to fightback from there we got to give credit to the bowlers," said Vijay in the post-match press conference.
Chasing a massive 179 for victory, CSK overhauled the target with two balls to spare as the West Indies' Dwayne Smith led the chase with his 51-ball 79. Mohammad Shami leaked 17 runs in the 18th over as Smith hit the medium pacer for two fours and a six, but Vijay refused to put the blame on Shami.
"Shami is giving his effort and that's what counts. We are players and all we can do is plan and execute that plan, but sometimes it just doesn't work. It was a very hard-fought game and Chennai are a top team and they played like one by pulling off this game. So, hopefully we can do better in the next match," Vijay, who was part of CSK in the previous editions, said.
Vijay (35) put on a 36-run opening stand with Quinton de Kock (24) and then a crucial 71-run partnership with Dinesh Karthik (51), but the Chennai-born player wished he could have contributed more.
"See in T20 cricket, it's the batsmen who throw their wicket than good balls getting them. Very few times that happens. The game is such that you have to avoid taking added risk. I tried hard as Quinton de Kock was batting brilliantly and later Dinesh (Karthik) played well. So my role was to stick in there and when they got out I had to take the initiative. So that was my plan but it did not come out my way," said Vijay.
Delhi saw rain and thundershowers in the afternoon yesterday, and a late evening drizzle resulted in a wet ball that made it easier for the CSK batsmen to initiate a successful run-chase, but Vijay said he would not like to blame the brief spell of rain for the teams' undoing.
"The drizzle did not matter. Though I was not communicating with the bowlers at that point but I personally thought that we should go on with the game. Even Kevin Pietersen was of the same opinion because the momentum was with us, so one wicket at that moment and anything could have happened," insisted Vijay.