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Interview

Shirin Sadikot in Centurion

Rohrer and co looking to out-pace Lions at Wanderers

Sydney Sixers batsman says wicket at the Bullring will suit their fast bowlers

Panic was setting into the Sydney Sixers’ chase of 164 against the Titans. Wickets were going down with alarming regularity to the bowlers as well as fielders by way of run-outs. The required run-rate was under control but the pressure was out of it. What the Sixers needed at that moment was a calm head in the middle. And Ben Rohrer obliged.

The southpaw walked in and weathered the storm, before it could blow his team away. 21 runs from 24 balls might not be regarded as a notable effort in a T20 match, but in the situation they were invaluable. Rohrer’s cameo had an assuring impact on the batsmen to follow as well as those sitting anxiously in the dugout.

After the Sixers pulled off the last-ball thriller to set up the CLT20 final with the Lions, Rohrer confessed to clt20.com that the calmness he showed in the middle went away with his own wicket. He revealed what a bundle of nerves he was while watching Pat Cummins and Mitchel Starc scrap it out in the end.

Rohrer also spoke about their opponents in the final, the Lions, and said Sydney Sixers will exploit pace-friendly conditions at the Wanderers.

Excerpts from his interview:

How hard was your heart pounding during the dying moments of the match?

Very hard, once I got out. When I was batting, I was pretty calm but to go through that last over and half-sitting in the dugout, my heart was in my mouth.

At one stage it looked like you will cruise to victory. But the middle order fell apart a bit. Was it panic?

We were always confident. We got off to a great start, which made the run-rate manageable during that period. But a bit of panic set in and we lost quick wickets. Titans are a great side and that’s why they’ve come so far. They were great in the field and took us on hard. We’re glad we just made it.

What do you make of David Wiese’s knock?

It was an unbelievable knock. The way their innings was going, we thought at the most we’d be chasing 130. But it was a great innings from him. It certainly blew us out of the water and made this a cracking game.

What was the mood in the camp going in to chase those 163?

It was a bit of a shock. Things tend to go a little flat for the team if the opposition batsman hits a six every second ball. But when we went into to bat, we knew it was a good wicket and that we’d be able to do what he did in the end. Our boys went out there confident and did the job.

What are your thoughts on your opponents in the final, the Lions?

They’re a very good side. Both South African teams have been really strong in this tournament. We had a tough game against them during the Group stage (which the Sixers won by five wickets) and we’re expecting exactly the same from them. They’ve got a couple of good left-arm pacers up front and a really good spinner as well. It’s going to be another tough challenge; but we got them once and hopefully we’ll get them again.

With pace being Sydney Sixers’ strength, are you guys happy to be playing the final at Wanderers?

Yes, definitely, especially with the ball flying through. The wicket here too is usually like that, but today it was a bit on the slower side. That probably evened the contest out a little bit. But we’re looking for some real pace at Wanderers.

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