‘Really enjoyed chasing down the target’ – de Kock
Quinton de Kock, who struck the first century of IPL 2016, looked a tired man at the post-match press conference, but did not shy away from toasting his innings, which toppled Royal Challengers Bangalore by seven wickets. He followed his unbeaten 59 against Kings XI Punjab with a 48-ball ton, which helped Delhi Daredevils gun down 191 with five balls to spare for their second straight win.
“I enjoyed the innings thoroughly,” de Kock said. “I wouldn’t say it was my best, but it’s up there. I enjoyed that especially chasing down a total like that.”
At one stage Royal Challengers were on course for a 200-plus total with Virat Kohli in charge, but Daredevils’ bowlers – keyed by Mohammed Shami’s third spell – pegged the hosts back to concede just 27 runs in the last four overs of the innings. De Kock reckoned that Bangalore’s total was a par score on the easy-paced, hit-through-the-line Chinnaswamy pitch and that Daredevils backed themselves going into the chase.
“Chasing it, we were very confident,” de Kock said. “We thought he had to chase down 250 actually. We were very confident going in.”
De Kock thrived on the off side, ten of his 15 fours coming the arc between backward point and cover. His crisp cuts and punches took full toll on a fast outfield.
“I wasn’t thinking much, just stand in there and playing the ball as I saw it,” de Kock said. “I knew the wicket was good, especially upfront. You could stand tall and just hit through the line.”
Royal Challengers captain Kohli called de Kock a “top-quality player” and lauded him for pacing the chase to perfection.
“I think it was wonderful, especially the way he handled the spinners,” Kohli said. “He waited on the ball pretty nicely. It always helps as a wicketkeeper when you see the pace of the wicket. That shows game awareness. He is a top-quality player.
“He has done really well for South Africa in the international circuit. On pitches which assist the batsmen, he is a very dangerous player. He likes to come forward and attack the bowlers and that is pretty evident with the way he plays as well. Credit to him. He really targeted his areas and targeted the bowlers.”
Deivarayan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo
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Source: ESPN Crickinfo