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Prajakta Pawar in Johannesburg

We weren’t good enough today: Symes

Lions batsman says losing early wickets cost them the trophy

Cheered by a vibrant home crowd, the Highveld Lions came out to the middle to face the Sydney Sixers for Karbonn Champions League Twenty20 2012 trophy. However, they wilted unexpectedly and lost by 10-wickets. Jean Symes’ valiant knock was the only highlight for the home team in their crushing defeat in the final.

Asked to bat first, the Lions top-order succumbed to the Sixers’ bowling attack without much resistance. Poor shot selection early on cost them the match and the trophy as they struggled to make it to the three-digit mark. Although Symes went about the task of resuscitating the innings, his lone effort wasn’t enough to help them post a competitive target on the board. He received some support from Sohail Tanvir, Thami Tsolekile and Dwaine Pretorius, but it wasn’t enough as they lost wickets regularly. But the middle-order bat posted a half-century, before returning to the dressing room in the penultimate over. 

A disappointed Symes spoke about the match and his team’s performance in an interview with clt20.com.

Excerpts from his interview:

When you came in to bat the Lions had lost four wickets for nine runs. What was your plan?

It was tough one. For me it was to come in to take my time and bat through and build partnerships. At the end of the day it is a partnership game so we needed that to come off.

You had three partnerships

We needed at least one partnership of 50-plus and another one close to fifty runs to come close to what we were looking for. We were a good couple of runs short. The wicket sped up a little bit through the game but all credit to them, they played nicely.

Were you were taken aback when they opened with spinners from both ends?

No, not really. For me at the end of the day we had prepared for different tactics. It is a game where everything changes. In Twenty20 anything can happen. You just have to play cricket shots.

After you had the partnerships with Sohail Tanvir and Thami Tsolekile and the way Dwaine Pretorius was batting did you think you could get a little further ahead than you did?

Well yes. With Dwaine hitting it as clean as he was today, we were obviously looking for a 140-plus score. But we knew it was going to be a bit of a struggle from the word go. Dwaine had come in and hit some shots.

What would you say of your campaign having made it to the final?

Throughout the campaign we said that we were running at 75 percent. In the semi-final against Delhi Daredevils we were up to 85 percent; but not today, not even close to that. It is a place we don’t want to be. We didn’t finish the campaign the way we had thought of it.

Your thoughts on your bowlers’ performance and whether at any point you thought you were in the game while defending the small total?

For the first three overs we thought anything can happen as cricket is a funny game. We have seen it all. We knew that they were going to come hard up front and they tried but didn’t quite come off. And then in the over from Chris Morris they took the game away from us.

How much of an impact did the loss of early wickets have?

That is the key for us. We have relied a lot on our batting and that is one of our strengths. All credit to their bowlers, they came to the party. I don’t think our batting was one of our stronger points [today]. We lost wickets early on and it was struggle from there on.

Another jinxed final

You can’t say that. You have got to step up and play. We weren’t good enough today, plain and simple.

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