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IPL 2017, Match 47, KXIP v GL, CT Player of the Match – Dwayne Smith

Smith plundered 74 runs in just 39 balls on the day to help the side get off to a flying start.

Dwayne Smith of Gujarat Lions
Dwayne Smith of Gujarat Lions in action. (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)

The Kings XI Punjab were marching strong in their run this season. At one stage during the tournament, they were almost out of contention for the playoffs. But their recent wins had brought them back to the hunt. They needed to win all their remaining fixtures to stay alive in the race. However, it was a thunderous knock from Dwayne Smith in Mohali that has now virtually put them out of the equation for the playoffs.

The Gujarat Lions have had a tough time this season and were one of the first teams to be out of the contention for the playoffs. They had nothing to lose from this game. Also, it was about finishing on a high for them as they were playing for pride. With a target of 189 to overhaul, the Lions needed a brilliant start. They needed someone to match the knock that Hashim Amla played for the Kings on the day.

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West Indies batsman Dwayne Smith was the man who did the job for them on the day. Smith hit a belligerent fifty that set the tone for the run chase. Smith plundered 74 runs in just 39 balls on the day to help the side get off to a flying start. His knock was studded with 8 fours and 4 towering maximums. For his whirlwind knock at the top order, Smith earns the CT Player of the Match.

Covering up for the losses

The Gujarat Lions found themselves in an unusual spot of bother with no options to pick their 4 overseas players in the match. They had the services of the UAE batsman Chirag Suri but the team did not find it the right time to launch him. With the injury exclusion of Brendon McCullum at the top order, the team had a major dent in the match. They were sure to miss his services since he had been the second leading run-getter for the Lions this season.

Dwayne Smith, in all fairness, did not let the absence of McCullum hurt the Lions. He batted with flair and power to ensure that the team got off to the kind of start they needed in the big run chase. The big burly West Indian added a marathon stand with Ishan Kishan in the opening slot – something that McCullum had perennially been doing.

Taking the charge, batting the opposition out

One good thing that Dwayne Smith did among everything else on the day was the way he showed positive intent right from the word go. Smith did not let the swing of Sandeep Sharma unsettle him at the crease. He took charge to the in form bowler and did not let him settle on the day. Also, he did not let any of KXIP bowler dictate terms during the time he was at the crease.

He took the charge right from the word go to hit the boundaries at will. It was only a matter of time that he cruised past his fifty and looked good for more. The brash and brutal hitting gave absolutely no chance to the Kings in the match. He batted out the opposition with every boundary hit that he came up with on the day.

Making the most of the let-offs

Well, truth be told, the innings played by Hashim Amla earlier in the game deserved to be on the winning note. He had played the flawless knock on the day. But such cruel is the nature of the game that not all good innings end up being on the winning side. Talking about the innings by Dwayne Smith, it was definitely not an innings which was blotch free.

The hiccups were there to be seen for everyone. David Miller dropped a dolly in the 6th over of the match. Later, in the 8th over, Gurkeerat Singh Mann dropped him yet again. So, Smith got his chances on the day and was riding on his luck. He made the most of the let-offs that he got and ended up playing the match-winning innings.

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