Game-changer Smith celebrates success
KOLKATA, India - West Indian batsman Dwayne Smith who inspired Mumbai Indians to several wins in the Indian Premier League is celebrating success in his first major final.
Mumbai Indians defeated Chennai Super Kings by 23 runs to capture the IPL title on Sunday and avenge their loss to Chennai in the 2010 final.
Smith, one half of the opening pair that replaced the Sachin Tendulkar-Ricky Ponting duo, scored 418 runs in 13 matches with four fifties.
“Yes. I watched the team lose the 2010 final and tonight I am so glad to be part of the winning team,” the Barbadian cricketer said.
“Before the game I was talking to (Kieron) Pollard that one of us has to be the Man of the Match today. When I got out, I told him, ‘I didn’t do it so you will have to win this for us and I know you will.’ He came out trumps and I love that”.
Pollard’s unbeaten 60 from 32 balls revived Mumbai who were struggling at 52 for four before romping to their first title in the six-year history of the IPL.
In the final, Smith lost his wicket in the fourth ball of the innings for four, lbw to Mohit Sharma.
However he was among a number of West Indian cricketers who delivered outstanding performances during the tournament.
“Yes, at the beginning of the tournament I talked to Chris (Gayle) and we said, ‘at least one of us has to make it to the final and make we end up winning’,” said Smith.
“It’s good to fulfill that promise and I am glad that all the West Indian players have performed well throughout”.
While some West Indian players in India travel to England to join the rest of their West Indies team mates for the Champions Trophy, Smith is returning to Barbados.
He will join English County Club Sussex later in June for the Friends Life T20 tournament.
“This is my first major final that I’ve played in and I’ve come out as a winner. I’m so happy,” smith said.
“But hopefully some day we (West Indies players) can all come together, talk about the IPL and celebrate together”.