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Prajakta Pawar in Johannesburg

We timed our innings well: Smith

Sixers’ vice-captain credits teammates for pulling off smart win

The Sydney Sixers outplayed the Highveld Lions to lift the Karbonn Champions League Twenty20 2012 trophy at the Wanderers Stadium today. The Sixers went about their task with clinical precision without getting intimated either by the atmosphere or the crowd that had gathered to cheer the home team, the Lions. The Brad Haddin-led side rocked the opposition on the back foot by being unpredictable. They opened the bowling with spinners and then the captain came out to chase the target with Michael Lumb up the order. They displayed calm as they took their time to chase down the below par total.

Speaking to clt20.com after winning the CLT20 2012, a visibly happy vice-captain, Steven Smith reflected on the memorable win and appreciated the contributions of his teammates in the competition. He also gave insight into the factors that helped his team win it all.

Excerpts from his interview:

You didn’t have to do much out there today; but a fantastic win?

Amazing! I am more than happy to sit back and watch the boys go out there and play. [Michael Lumb] Lumby and Had [Brad Haddin] got to us a 10-wicket victory; you can’t ask for more than that. They played unbelievably and we won.

Did you expect it to be so easy?

No, obviously they are a very good team. They played very well throughout the tournament. They were probably behind after the start [that they had]. We took four wickets inside the first six overs. It was an unbelievable start and it was always going to be tough for them to come back from there and post a big score. We are happy with what we have got.

Was opening with spinners from both end part if the plan to surprise the opposition like you and Haddin spoke about earlier?

Yes, that was part of it. And Hads [Brad Haddin] going up at the top of the order as well and Steve O’Keefe going back down. The strategy changes in every game with so many batters. So yes, having something different again and having that element of surprise and being unpredictable is very important; in this format it is pretty important

Your team has displayed calm in pressure situations and today too they batted calmly as well. Would you say that has been the key to your winning streak?

Yes. The boys played some very smart cricket today. We didn’t go too hard at the start while batting because we knew that if we had wickets in hand we can get the runs on this ground at the end of the innings. The boys timed the innings beautifully tonight and did a wonderful job.

Your thoughts on Jean Symes’ valiant half-century

He played a good knock. He was obviously under pressure coming in. He struck the ball around beautifully. He did the job that he needed to do but it is always tough coming back after losing so many wickets at the start. From that point we were always on top and were able to get home in the end.

Your bowlers did a good job. What are your thoughts on Nathan McCullum and Josh Hazlewood’s performances?

They bowled beautifully. Josh has bowled beautifully throughout this tournament. He is the one to watch out for in the future. He is going to be one of the next big things I think. I am very happy for him and the way we played.

Your thoughts on the platform the CLT20 has offered all players

It is always great playing against the best domestic teams around the world and the best domestic players. It is a great tournament and hopefully we will be back again next year. 

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