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Firoz Mirza, Hindustan Times
Mumbai, May 08, 2012
Chennai Super Kings' hopes of qualifying for the play-offs took a beating after their pace spearhead Ben Hilfenhaus was taken to the cleaners by Mumbai Indians' Dwayne Smith, who smashed 14 off the last three balls to clinch victory on Sunday. His CSK pace partner Albie Morkel, however, defended the Australian pacer, saying any fast bowler would have done the same - bowled yorkers - given the situation as a single miss could have won the match for CSK. "It was a tough situation. Any bowler, except maybe Lasith Malinga, would have done the same. Even Dale Steyn was smashed mercilessly by AB de Villiers," said Albie, during a promotional event.

Tough to digest
"The loss was devastating. MI were cruising but a good catch gave us Sachin's wicket and Rohit Sharma fell to a bad shot. Suddenly, we looked like winning comfortably but that's T20."

Albie should know, having meted out similar treatment to Virat Kohli to clinch victory against RCB in Chennai. But the SA all-rounder played it safe when asked who the best finisher in the game was - MS Dhoni or De Villiers. "MSD has been doing it for some time while AB has taken on the role of late."

Too close
Morkel felt if CSK, the two-time champions, fail to qualify for the playoffs, it would be because of the close matches. "We got four games left and we have to win all them. It's a nice challenge."

Although seen as an ideal successor to Lance Klusener, Albie Morkel never fulfilled those expectations. Making his Test debut in 2009, he couldn't play the next match as his younger brother, Morne, cemented his place in the side. Albie now seems to have given up hopes of making a Test comeback.

"I don't think I am going to play Tests for South Africa anymore," he said. However, he is optimistic of playing for the country in T20 as well as in one-day internationals.