Tendulkar's dismissal for just two runs didn't put pressure on the West Indian batsman as he laid the foundation for Mumbai Indians to steal KKR's thunder in a match that went down to the wire.
After Kolkata Knight Riders set up a decent total of 160 to chase for Mumbai Indians, the visiting side lost Sachin Tendulkar early on. West Indian opener Dwayne Smith though never looked flustered under pressure and played a remarkable 45-ball-62 to give his team a squeaky win over the home favourites. The game eventually went down to the wire but Smith was always confident about his knock.
Story first published on: Thursday, 25 April 2013 12:42
"I think my message to myself was to go there and believe in myself, get in and do what I want; because I knew they won't be able to stop me that easy. I am the kind of guy who believes in doing what I know best. Today I just thought, I had to give my team a good start and I did it," a laughing Smith told the IPL website..
Smith's innings, studded with three fours and five massive sixes, when looked closely at, had a lot to do with application too. He was particularly subdued against the dangerous Sunil Narine but showed his repertoire of strokes against the likes of spinner Iqbal Abdulla and much-touted Sachithra Senanayake. The Mumbai all-rounder admitted he handled Narine with caution.
"I did not target any bowler. My plan was to get as much as possible from any bowler bowling to me, apart from Sunil Narine, because he was the one who was taking the wickets for them. Eventually I gave away my wicket to him which was disappointing. I should have batted on and tried to get the side home.
"I have not faced Narine in the nets much when we played together for West Indies. It is just that I had the confidence today that I would do well against any bowler. I just backed myself to do the job for the team and I am glad we ended up on the winning side," said the 31-year-old from Barbados.
On being paired with Tendulkar at the top, Smith said that it was an honour and a lot can be learnt from the Little Master, who on his 40th birthday was bowled by Narine for just two runs!
"I have opened with Sachin before as well. He has always been encouraging me and has been a very good team player. He gives tips that help me in the end. I am glad to be opening with a guy like him," said Wednesday night's Man of the Match at the Eden Gardens.