Sir Viv told us to keep fighting: van der Merwe

DD spinner pleased with team’s first win of IPL 2013

Delhi 21 April 2013
A few changes in their side and a little tweaking in their batting line-up helped the Delhi Daredevils register their maiden win in the Pepsi Indian Premier League 2013 and in style against the Mumbai Indians at the Feroz Shah Kotla.

The thumping nine-wicket victory coincided with Sir Vivian Richards joining the team in an ambassadorial and advisory role. Inspired by the legendary cricketer the team cruised to victory against the team that had beaten them earlier in the season.

After the Sachin TendulkarRohit Sharma onslaught that set them a 162-run target, Mahela Jayawardene and Virender Sehwag, opening the innings for DD, helped chase it down with 18 balls to spare.

Apart from Mahela opening the innings for the first time this season, Roelof van der Merwe played his first match of the season. Replacing fellow South African, Morne Morkel in the playing eleven, the left-arm spinner gave the home team their first breakthrough early in the innings. van der Merwe sent back MI opener Dwayne Smith in the fourth over to pick his first wicket in his first over.

Speaking to after the victory, a jubilant van der Merwe talked about the triumph, the strategy and Sir Viv Richards’ inspirational presence in the dug-out.

Excerpts from the interview:

On the team registering their first win of the season and his first game?

Yes, it is sometimes frustrating losing games and not getting a game but when you get to play and the team wins it is happy days!

On getting a wicket in his first over?

It is a good feeling, it is a relief. You have been outside for long and then a wicket in the first over… so I am happy about that.

On what Sir Vivian Richards’ advice was to the team ahead of the game?

He is a very inspirational guy; he was a hard cricketer when he played. He just said, keep fighting and things would get together (fall in place). (His) First game in and he has got us a win so it is brilliant.

On what was the plan while bowling to Sachin Tendulkar and Rohit Sharma who were on song?

Sachin is an unbelievable player. You have to be patient with them and hope that they make a mistake you just stick to your plans and hope that they give their wicket away.

On whether they felt that they could chase down the total given the string of losses?

I think our batting hasn’t been what it should be but you have a Virender Sehwag in the team and then Mahela Jayawardene and David Warner they are good batters. And tonight they gave themselves a good chance to get in and it just shows when you get in and face some balls you can chase anything.

On Mahela Jayawardene opening the batting for the first time this season?

Mahela is a batter who can bat through the innings. He normally starts slow and I think that’s what we needed, just someone to get in and work and play around aggressive batters - Sehwag and Warner and I think he has done really well. 
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