Hyderabad: After Sunrisers Hyderabad's 22-run win over Pune Warriors India in the Pepsi Indian Premier League (IPL) here on Friday night, Dale Steyn said his team fought well to begin the campaign on a winning note.
Steyn, who claimed three wickets for 11 runs in 3.5 overs, said the Sunrisers bowled well, batted well and assessed the conditions pretty well.
"It was nice to get off the mark. We fought well tonight, which is a good sign for a new team. New franchise is normally about discovering yourself but we played like a team that had been together for two years with the new coach and everything. It was fantastic," the South African said.
On Sunrisers scoring 126 after being put into bat by Pune Warriors, the fast bowler said they were probably 20 runs short.
"But I think we bowled consistently well to get ourselves back into the game. At one stage we were probably looking at 6 or 6.5 runs in an over with, may be, two big overs getting us to 150. Even 140 plus would have been a great score on this particular wicket. To defend 126 was very impressive."
Steyn, one of the best bowlers in the world, said it was a bowler friendly wicket. "It was not a free flowing wicket. You could not quite go out there and play shots. The ball was not quite getting on to the bat.
"It had a bit of the tennis ball bounce. It wasn't the best wicket that we have had in Hyderabad. But I think we bowled well, batted well and we assessed conditions pretty well. Good hard fighting game tonight. It was well fought."
The South African feels that the bowling strength is a lot better with Ishant Sharma back in the team. On Thisara Perera, Steyn said: "He replaces Daniel Christian who was also a game changer for us, and that is exactly what Perera is doing."
Steyn believes Sunrisers will do well this season if they bowl well. "Batsmen always look to score 140, 150 and 160 but if you can bowl teams out in 20 overs, you are going to win a lot of games," he added.