Indian Premier League 2009 May 16, 2009

Lay-off was the best thing that happened to me - Lee

Cricinfo staff

Australian fast bowler Brett Lee has said he is feeling the positive effects of his four-month lay-off to nurse his ankle injury. Making a delayed entry into the IPL, Lee helped Kings XI Punjab beat tournament leaders Delhi Daredevils in Bloemfontein with a penetrative and miserly 3 for 15 in four overs on Friday.

"I lost about seven kilos in India (during the Tests in 2008) and then I got injured, which in hindsight was probably the best thing that could have happened to me," Lee said. "I got a chance to go to the gym and get fit again and put a bit more size on. The whole thing is starting to pay off."

Lee picked up the injury during the Boxing Day Test against South Africa, missed the remainder of the summer and the return tour of South Africa. He joined the team in the UAE for the limited-overs series against Pakistan but made his comeback only in the Twenty20 international, after the five ODIs.

He took 1 for 24 in his first match for Punjab, 1 for 25 in the following game but his best performance was against Delhi, which earned him the Man-of-the-Match award. His spell also included a wicket maiden.

"It's [the rhythm] starting to get there and I was pretty happy with the way I bowled tonight," Lee said. "I'm just trying to get through each game and the ankle is feeling really good which is exciting. My whole aim was to try and get through these four overs and try and bowl a bit of pace. I was pretty happy with the effort."

His Punjab coach, Tom Moody, was also delighted as it helped the team bounce back with a much-needed win to keep their semi-final hopes alive.

"Brett's important in attack," Moody was quoted as saying to PA Sport. "He's got that x-factor up front and he's a great finisher as well. He's performing and just his presence is important for the team."