Chennai, Oct 2: Mumbai Indians all-rounder James Franklin, who top-scored with an unbeaten 42 in his side's five-wicket defeat to New South Wales here today, said the Chepauk pitch was one of the most challenging he had played on.
"It's probably one of the more challenging pitches I've played on in my career. It was really, really hard looking to score runs up front and it was real graft, credit to New South Wales, I think they bowled outstandingly well, they stuck to the basics, which came out really well," he said at the post-match press conference.
Batting first, MI could only post 100 for seven and would not have reached three figures but for Franklin's knock.
"It was a case of trying to get runs, I think we were 20 or 30 runs short. (A total of) 130 would have made the game really interesting. But our bowlers bowled outstandingly well, they gave us a chance of winning, but Steven Smith and Ben Rohrer (who shared an unbeaten 63-run partnership for the sixth wicket) batted outstandingly and saved New South Wales," he said.
Franklin defended the attacking fields set up by Mumbai captain Harbhajan Singh when NSW were in trouble at 28 for five. The Australian outfit were still able to milk singles and hence reduced the pressure building on their team.
"We were trying to take wickets and also conscious of not giving away too many runs. (But) you've got to pay credit to those two guys out there (Rohrer and Smith), who were able to rotate strike in the middle with minimal risk," Franklin said.