Sharjah [UAE], October 4 (ANI): Despite winning the game against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) by 18-run, Delhi Capitals skipper Shreyas Iyer admitted that defending any total at Sharjah Cricket Stadium is difficult due to the ground's shorter dimensions.
Iyer, who played the quickfire knock of 88 runs off 38 balls, was awarded Player of the Match.
"It is really difficult to defend here. It has been such an amazing tournament, especially in Sharjah. It is always a thrill to play at this ground, the last time I played here was in the Under-19s. Winning the match was the icing on the cake," Iyer told the host broadcaster Star Sports after the match.
After being asked to bat first, Delhi posted the highest total of the Indian Premier League at the Sharjah as they scored 228/4 in 20 overs.
Prithvi Shaw scored 68 runs including four sixes while Rishabh Pant amassed 38 runs.
"It was really necessary for me to take time at the start which I did in the earlier games as well. It was the right time for me to take on the bowlers and then rotate the strike as well after that. Luckily it worked out for me. I know the hard work and the smart work I have put in through my gym sessions, so I wouldn't say I am a gifted player," the skipper said.
"We keep talking about close victories and this was one of them. Really satisfied with the way everyone stepped up. Unfortunate to lose Amit Mishra in the middle when he was spinning the ball really well," he added.
Chasing a monumental target of 229, KKR had a poor start as they lost their opener Sunil Narine (3) early. He was bowled out by Anrich Nortje in the second over.
Nitish Rana joined Shubman Gill in the middle and stitched a 71-run partnership for the second wicket. In the ninth over, Mishra provided the second breakthrough for Delhi Capitals as he bagged Gill (28).
All-rounder Andre Russell promoted up in the order failed to leave his mark on the scoreboard and was sent back to the pavilion by Kagiso Rabada in the 10th over.
Russell scored 13 runs off eight balls. After Russell's dismissal, skipper Dinesh Karthik and Rana played cautiously and built a brief 23-run partnership.
Harshal Patel got rid of Rana in the 13th over. He played a knock of 58 runs off 35 balls. On the next ball, Patel bagged Karthik (6) and brought back Delhi in the game.
Pat Cummins (5) failed to score big runs and was dismissed by Nortje in the 14th over.
Eoin Morgan and Rahul Tripathi then had a blazing partnership of 78-run off 31 balls.
Morgan smashed Rabada for three consecutive sixes in the 18th over and accumulated 23 runs in that over. After that KKR were required 31 off the last two overs.
Nortje bagged Morgan in the penultimate over. He played a knock of 44 runs off 18 balls studded with five sixes.
In the last over, KKR needed 26 runs with three wickets in hand.
Stoinis bowled the final over of the match and bagged Tripathi on the second ball and put rest on Kolkata's hope of winning the game. He scored 36 runs off 16 balls including three sixes and as many fours.
KKR only managed to score seven runs in the final six balls.
For Delhi, Nortje bagged three wickets while Patel scalped two dismissals.
Delhi Capitals will next take on Royal Challengers Bangalore on October 5 while KKR will take on Chennai Super Kings on October 7. (ANI)