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Prajakta Pawar in Jaipur

It will be a nervous watch tomorrow: Nathan McCullum

Volts all-rounder says all eyes will be on MI-SCO game as his team awaits its fate

Unable to breach the Rajasthan Royals’ fortress, the Otago Volts who are placed second in Group A will now be keenly watching the outcome of the Mumbai Indians-Perth Scorchers match, as their semi-finals fate hinges on that result. Although they fought tooth and nail, the Brendon McCullum-led side was beaten by four wickets in a battle of nerves at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium. The Volts who were unbeaten for 15 matches were outplayed by the Royals in their last Group game of the Karbonn Smart Champions League Twenty20.

After Rahul Shukla dealt early blows to send the visitors on the back foot, their middle order comprising Ryan ten Doeschate, James Neesham, Nathan McCullum and Ian Butler helped the team set RR a 140-run target, which the Volts defended up to the last over. McCullum, who scored a vital 20-ball 28*, spoke to clt20.com about the loss and his team’s tense wait before they find out whether they have progressed to the next stage of the tournament. 

Excerpts from his interview:

How do you sum up this match?

It was disappointing to lose, but still I am pleased with the lads for going from 21 for four to putting up some sort of score on the board. And to be able to defend and take the match in to the last over showed a lot of character and fight for the boys. We still give ourselves a massive chance in this tournament. We were a little bit off today but we managed to push them till the last over.

Was it tough to bat out there or would you say they bowled well?

I think you have to give credit where it is due. They bowled really well, swung the ball and created pressure and got some wickets up front. It is tough when you have lost four wickets for 21 runs and trying to build a massive score from then on. Again, I am pleased with the way the boys came back and got ourselves into the game and pulled it right till the end. It will be a nervous watch tomorrow (since the outcome of the Mumbai Indians-Perth Scorchers match will have a bearing on which team will make it to the semi-finals). But hopefully we can carry on further in this tournament.

Your winning streak has been halted

Yes it is finished but we are still happy with the way we have gone about it. We have played some fantastic cricket here so far. All winning streaks have to come to an end and for us to show the fight we did when we were a little bit off today, still shows how good a team we are and how much belief we have in ourselves and how much fight we have as well. I think that shows the character of the team that we have got and the belief in the team that we have got. If we get another chance in this tournament, we will grab it with both hands.

Looking back would you say that having put up a big score in an earlier match was good since net run-rate might come in to play in deciding the semi-finalists?

Yes. Obviously we have got a big jump on the net run-rate right now, but you just never know what can happen in tomorrow’s game. We have done lot of things possible that we can and we have to have a nervous watch.

Would you say this was one of the toughest fights in the tournament?

They are a tough team, especially on their home turf. It was tough but again pleasing to be able to take it to the last over since we were probably 15 runs short as well.

Where would you say the match went away from you?

Brad Hodge played a fantastic innings. To come out and play that way he did when they were under pressure was very impressive. Sometimes you have someone take the game away from you and we were in a position where we had a chance out there, and he played a fantastic knock at the end. So well done to him and to the Rajasthan Royals. I am sure we will be looking forward to having another crack at them if we get a chance.

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