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Shirin Sadikot in Cape Town

We had unfinished business with KKR: Vincent

Aces batsman is glad to have avenged 2011 loss to IPL champions

When the Auckland Aces took to the Newlands field for their second game of CLT20 2012, their minds flashed back to September 19, 2011. That was the day they lost to the Kolkata Knight Riders by two runs in the Qualifiers of the tournament’s previous edition. Another loss followed and the Aces had to head back home, broken-hearted.

This year the team from New Zealand have made it to the main tournament and when they came across the Knight Riders again, they had to get the better of them this time. “We had unfinished business from last year when we lost to them. We got one against them and did our job today.

I’m impressed with the guys’ performance,” Aces opening batsman Lou Vincent told clt20.com after his team’s comprehensive seven-wicket win over the current IPL champions.

The hallmark of the Auckland Aces in this tournament has been the thorough professionalism they have displayed in every match so far. Chris Martin had told this website earlier that the players are more confident and assured of their abilities this time. That self-belief has a lot to do with the preparation the team has had ahead of the CLT20.

The Aces arrived in South Africa on September 22 and trained hard for days, polishing various skills required to succeed on this huge stage. “We’ve come from winter back home and it required adapting to the conditions here before the tournament started,” Vincent said. “We were very well looked after by the HPC (High Performance Centre) in Pretoria. You can’t get better facilities to prepare for such a big tournament.”

Although adapting to the conditions has been a major part of the Aces’ preparation, the South African tracks make them feel more at home than those in India. “It does swing and seam around a bit in New Zealand as it does here in South Africa and that made the acclimatising easier for us,” Vincent admitted.

While pleased with his team’s performance so far, the Aces opening batsman is expecting a bit more from his own bat. While chasing the target against KKR, Vincent got a quick fire 30 off 12 balls, before slogging himself out. “I’m getting the team off to a good start but hope to do better in the coming games by playing right through the innings,” Vincent said, before adding a finishing touch in his inimitable style, “Had I batted 20 overs, I’d have scored 200, wouldn’t I?”

That is, of course, anyone’s guess.

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