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Shirin Sadikot in Cape Town

Sixers kept taking timely wickets: Bodi

Lions batsman says lack of substantial partnerships led to his team’s downfall today

Gulam Bodi copped a lot of unwarranted criticism for batting slowly in the Highveld Lions’ match against the Mumbai Indians, although his team won the contest. In the next game, against the Chennai Super Kings, he responded with a Man of the Match winning 64-run innings off 46 balls.

The Lions batsman continued with his fine form with another half-century (61 off 44 balls) against the Sydney Sixers, albeit in a losing cause.

In a chat with
clt20.com, Bodi explained his tactics against MI, saying it was part of the team’s game plan. He also spoke about the confidence he gained from the knock against CSK and how it helped him start off against the Sixers positively.

Excerpts from his interview:

A disappointing loss but is it good to get away with it now rather than in the knockout stage?

It happens. It’s a game. All credit goes to the Sydney Sixers; they played really well. They kept getting the breakthroughs every time we looked like forming a partnership. As you said, rather lose now than in the semi-finals. We have one more game to go, against Yorkshire. We hope to beat them and regain the momentum to get to the semis.

Was Sydney Sixers’ pace attack too hard to handle?

You just have to be disciplined. We’ve got to go back, do our homework and see where we went wrong. Yes, the teams that have good seam attacks have done well in these conditions because early in the South African season the wickets are fresh and juicy. The ball does quite a bit off the surface and in the air. We too have some quality bowlers but they were hungrier than us today.

How important was the knock you played against CSK?

For me that knock was massive. After what happened against the Mumbai Indians, I was criticised a lot, which is unfair after just one game. But we had our game plans against them. We looked at their records and saw that they win 80 percent of their games if they get three or more wickets up front. If they don’t get those early wickets, they lose 80 percent of their matches. So, our team plan was to see Lasith Malinga off and then try and go after the other bowlers. And it also worked in the end. At the Wanderers you can chase 10 or 11 runs an over.

Did that knock give you a lot of confidence coming into this game?

Yes, absolutely. I’m a batsman who thrives on confidence. You will have an odd bad game here and there. Against CSK I struggled up front against the two quality bowlers in Bollinger and Hilfenhaus. But as soon as the spinners came on, I got the run-rate going and the momentum shifted towards us. Once you win a game, your confidence is high and you look forward to the next game. Today, from ball one I had the momentum going my way with that boundary and I’m now looking forward to the important one against Yorkshire.

Talking about today’s game, with Dirk Nannes and Sohail Tanvir, two of the best T20 seamers in the world right now, did you expect to defend those 137 runs?

They bowled very well but certain things didn’t go our way. But the sun’s going to come out tomorrow. We’ll now go back to Johannesburg, at the Bullring, which is our home ground and turn up again.

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