Dwayne Smith has been the Glenn Maxwell of Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League this season. The West Indian has been central to Chennai's batting and on Saturday night, his 51-ball 57 gave CSK a rousing start as they chased Mumbai Indians' 157 for six wickets.
Smith won his eighth Man of the Match award in IPL. Although skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni played a 12-ball 22 cameo, it was Smith and his crucial partnerships with Faf du Plessis and Suresh Raina that laid the platform for Chennai.
Smith is the first batsman to score five fifties in IPL 2014. His aggregate of 396 (average 44.00) in nine innings is the second highest by a batsman this year in the IPL, next only to Glenn Maxwell's 460. Maxwell, the Kings XI Punjab all-rounder, has three scores of 90 this year.
Chennai Super Kings' South African star du Plessis thinks West Indian Smith is not all brawn but brains too. "There is thought behind his batting. He has got a really good shape when he hits the ball. It is not just about power, but also the shape of the swing on that given night," Du Plessis told www.iplt20.com.
"He gets into really good positions and that is the reason why he is able to hit the ball so far and so consistently. As batsmen, there is a lot that we can learn when we see him bat," Du Plessis said.
After the four-wicket win against Mumbai at Wankhede Stadium, Du Plessis said: "The wicket was slow and it was not easy for Smith to time the ball like he normally does, but he still managed to get runs for us. We just wanted to keep the scoreboard ticking and play good cricket shots and not try to hit the ball out of the park.
"But Smith is a power hitter and he always looks to go for the big shots, and it is nice for me to assist him in that and get him on strike as much as possible, which worked tonight," Du Plessis said. The South African was involved in a 63-run partnership with Smith.