Prajakta Pawar in Johannesburg
Imran Nazir’s wicket was key: Bates
Aces bowler talks about the turning point during the Sialkot game
The Auckland Aces began their CLT20 2012 campaign with an easy win over debutants Sialkot Stallions. After their bowlers restricted the Stallions to a paltry 130, the Auckland Aces raced to the target with 17 balls to spare. Michael Bates, who set the ball rolling with the early wicket of Sialkot opener Shakeel Ansar, spoke to clt20.com about his team’s keenness to make it to the CLT20 group stages after a disappointing campaign last year.
Excerpts from his brief interview:
On the preparation for the first match
We were pretty disappointed last year after losing both games by one run. We just came here not wanting that to happen again and just putting everything into the game and prepare the best we can.
On the Sialkot Stallions
They have Imran Nzair who we have watched in the World Cup. He can bat and bowl. They have a good side. We didn’t take them lightly.
On Martin Guptill
He is good for us. It is important for us to have him at the top batting-wise and Kyle Mills leading our bowling attack.
On turning point of the match
Probably, Azhar Mahmood coming back in his second over and removing Imran Nazir. That was a big point, because if he bats for 20 overs, we would be chasing 160-170 and not 131, which probably would have been a different story.
On the next game
We have to come back down to earth tonight and get ready for tomorrow. We haven’t thought about not qualifying; so we just need to go out there and hopefully win tomorrow against Hampshire.
On the period leading up to CLT20
We just had six months off because of winter in New Zealand. Last year, however, we were pretty consistent.