Gujarat Lions batsman Dwayne Smith, who starred in the six-wicket win over Kings XI Punjab in Mohali on Sunday night with his stunning match-winning 39-ball knock of 72 runs, felt relieved to finally have found form in the ongoing IPL 2017 and helped his team clinch the match. (KXIP v GL HIGHLIGHTS | SCORECARD)
The 34-year-old veteran batsman from the Caribbean, said, “It was quite disappointing not to have scored runs in the previous matches of the tournament. Having said that I know how to pick up myself from the low and get into the performance mode.
“I guess luck was not going my way and in addition to that I made some bad shot selections which did not help my cause. As far as this game is concerned, I knew if I stayed there in the middle for a few overs, runs would come easy.”
Dwayne was involved in a 91-run opening wicket stand with opener Ishan Kishan, who hammered a 24-ball knock of 29 runs. The opening wicket stand set up the chase for Gujarat Lions, who were chasing a stiff target of 190 runs. Smith got lucky twice in the match as he was dropped by David Miller on 42 and by Gurkeerat Singh Mann on 51.
“The pitch was really playing well. I could judge the pitch well while fielding first in the match. I knew once I stay out there, runs will come for sure. We are already out of the tournament, so we can’t worry about that, we just need to keep going on and look to damage some other teams as well.
“We would want to win our next two games left in the tournament,” said Smith, who has played for Deccan Chargers, Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings in the past editions of IPL.
Opening stand set up the win
He announced his retirement from international cricket two months back. His highest knock before the 72 against Kings XI Punjab came against Sunrisers Hyderabad when he made 37 runs.
Having played 10 Tests, 105 ODIs and 33 T20s for West Indies, Smith also has played in various T20 leagues throughout globe, Pakistan Super League being the recent one.
The burly opener also praised Ishan Kishan and felt the opening stand did the trick for Gujarat Lions. He said, “Ishan is a delightful batsman. We built a good partnership to put pressure on the hosts who were high on Amla’s century. I think he is a great future prospect for India and can be a useful campaigner for his country.”
Gujarat Lions take on Delhi Daredevils on May 10 to be followed by the game against Sunrisers Hyderabad on May 13, both in Kanpur.