T20 format unpredictable, Smith proves it: Fleming

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Published: Monday, May 7, 2012, 11:37 [IST]
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'Smith's knock helped MI win a thriller'

Mumbai, May 7: Chennai Super Kings coach Stephen Fleming has praised Mumbai Indians' all-rounder Dwayne Smith for his knock which helped the home team win a thriller and said, Twenty20 format is considered to be unpredictable as any individual can change the result of the match.

Smith's unbeaten 24 off 9 deliveries, which included a six and two boundaries in the last three deliveries to guide Mumbai to a two-wicket win on Sunday.

The West Indies all-rounder played his first game this season after he joined the team to replace the injured Mitchell Johnson. The situation was tense when he took the crease in the 20th over, as they needed 16 runs to win off Ben Hilfenhaus' last over.

"Take your hats off to (Dwayne) Smith, it was an amazing innings. We lost by a small margin. It was a real roller-coaster, wasn't it? That's the beauty of IPL. The nature of T20 is the game can be won or lost by an individual. We saw that today," said the former New Zealand skipper after his team lost the match in the last ball.

Chasing 174 to win, Mumbai were in looking good at 134/1 with Sachin scoring another half century during his 44-ball 74, and Rohit Sharma (60 off 46 balls) while they lost momentum after the fall of Tendulkar, Rohit Sharma as they lost 6 wickets in the next 4 overs.

"It was a great game, phenomenal see-sawing throughout the game. We looked down and out but were back with great fielding," said Fleming, referring to the acrobatic catch taken by Faf du Plessis at short extra cover to send back Tendulkar that triggered a collapse which saw MI lose seven wickets for 15 runs.

Fleming said, Tendulkar played a superb knock on Sunday to help his team win the match after he had missed a couple of games due to a finger injury.

"Won't say he has been struggling, but had not (been) the dynamic player before tonight. The partnership he had with Rohit was wonderful. What should have been a match-winning partnership was turned around with some splendid fielding. It was an outstanding and clever partnership," he said.

When asked if the defending champions can make it to the play-offs this time around, he said "Yes, we are aware. We have to win three out of the next four games. We have to lift ourselves. We created the opportunities to win tonight," he said.


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