"But leading Daredevils for the first time, that too, in the middle of the tournament, was really unbelievable", said Shreyas after the team's resounding 55-run victory. After the team scored 200/9 in 20 overs, Kolkata Knight Riders bowlers impressively bowled out Delhi Daredevils for 129 in 14.2 overs. It was his first game as a captain, taking over from Gambhir and certainly a night to remember for Iyer.
The hosts have so far had a awful start to their campaign, sitting at the bottom with only one win in six matches so far that saw Gautam Gambhir step down as skipper.
Kolkata missed out on its chances of containing Delhi with both Iyer and Maxwell getting dropped in the deep.
"I didn't make any call to be honest", Iyer said. "My respect for him has really gone up". It was a team effort. Thanks to his brutal hitting, as well as a cameo by Glenn Maxwell, Delhi collected 76 off the last four overs for the loss of just one wicket. His unbeaten 93, which included 28 from the final over of the innings, ensured that Delhi posted 219-4, the highest score in this T20 season.
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"He [Prithvi] has been really batting well since the start of the season". An overjoyed Iyer expressed delight over his team's performance and complimented his bowlers for delivering the goods. Dinesh Karthik, Knight Riders' captain, chose to bowl first in Delhi with the possibility of "dew in the evening".
"Playing Kuldeep Yadav and Piyush Chawla wasn't that hard for me because I have played them in the domestic circuit as well", said Iyer. Andre Russell got the visitors' hopes up briefly with a 30-ball 44 as he and Shubman Gill (37 off 29 balls) added 64 for the sixth wicket but that was as good as it got for KKR.
In reply, KKR were off to a forgettable start, losing four wickets for just 46 runs in the powerplay. The home side needed talented Rishabh Pant to support Iyer but the young left-hander was dismissed on duck as he tried to drop his gloves off when Andre Russell banged it short, expecting that the ball will pass him but it hit him on the gloves and flew to wicketkeeper. Because the way I started was really slow.
While Iyer's knock of a lifetime is the result of the superlative form that he is in right now, he might have drawn some confidence from the start Delhi got, thanks to a fine half-century from teenager Shaw who made his second appearance in the cash-rich league. However, Shreyas Iyer was in the mood to get complacent. "All of us contributed for this win", the newly-appointed skipper said.