'I knew KKR wouldn't be able to stop me easily' - Smith
Dwayne Smith, with 62 off 45, helped Mumbai Indians arrest a slump by scoring a five-wicket win over Kolkata Knight Riders on Wednesday. While he was disappointed not to stay on till the end after setting up the chase, Smith said, he was always confident of dealing with Knight Riders' bowlers.
"My message to myself was to go there, get in and do what I want; I knew they won't be able to stop me that easily," Smith told the IPL site after the match. "I am the kind of guy who believes in doing what I know best. Today I just thought I had to give my team a good start, and I did it."
Smith's innings included three fours and five sixes and, while he managed just 2 off 6 balls against Sunil Narine, he took apart Knight Riders' supporting spinners, Sachithra Senanayake and Iqbal Abdulla. He smacked 20 off 8 off Senanayake, and 31 off 19 from Abdulla.
He did not look to go after any bowler in particular, Smith said: "I did not target any bowler. My plan was to get as much as possible from any bowler bowling to me, apart from Sunil Narine, because he was the one who was taking the wickets for them.
"Eventually I gave away my wicket to him which was disappointing. I should have batted on and tried to get the side home."
Left-arm spinner Abdulla, playing his first game of the tournament, began with a testing over in which he conceded just one run, before being hit for six four times by Smith. Abudulla, who was the Under-23 Player of the IPL in 2011, was not too discouraged though. "I feel it was Dwayne Smith's day today," he said. "I had bowled the second over of the match, wherein Smith could score only one off me. There was even a small chance off the third ball that could have got him out, he was saved [from being bowled] just by an inch. I guess had we got that wicket, it would have been a different result."
The conditions, after the rain leading up to the match, had proved to be a bit difficult for Knight Riders' bowlers, Abdulla said. "The ball was getting wet just a bit and it was difficult to grip the ball. Apart from Sunil Narine, I guess Senanayake and myself could not extract as much spin from the wicket."
Still, the target of 160 was enough for the bowlers to work with, he said. "We were playing at home and we always had the confidence in our bowling. One-sixty was defendable on this wicket. It is just that we did not pick wickets at regular intervals."