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Prajakta Pawar in Jaipur 11 May 2012 - 02:52am IST

We were 10 runs short: Hodge

RR batsman says regular loss of wickets cost his side the game against CSK

Consistently losing close matches can knock the wind out of any team. The Rajasthan Royals lost yet another such game at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium here against the Chennai Super Kings.

Intermittent showers kept pausing the game in the first innings but the home team did well to set the visitors a 127-run target thanks to a 28-ball 33 by Brad Hodge. They even did well to take the game down to the wire. 

After the match, a disappointed Hodge spoke to iplt20.com about the game and close finishes. 

Excerpts:

On yet another close finish

Too many close finishes. It was tough conditions [out there] today. The rain came and spiced up the wicket a little bit. We posted a decent total [maybe] we were 10 runs short but we did well. We got in a position to win the game. They needed 12 runs per over, [but] unfortunately we found ourselves on the wrong side of another loss again. 

On being in the match till around the 16th or 17th overs

Couple of big shots went over the boundary, and unfortunately, that is what happens in T20. We have had our share of close matches this year and seemed to fall short on a couple of them. [We lost the] one against Chennai [Super Kings] in Chennai [in a] last-ball [finish] and here again [it was close]. We have been playing pretty good cricket, we have been very competitive and doing a good job but it was a disappointing loss today. 

On whether it was a bad toss to lose

Yes. I think the conditions suited bowling. The rain was around and the rain got on the wicket and it was a good opportunity to bowl if you won the toss. We didn’t know what the weather was up to. Generally, you can predict clear skies and hot [weather]. But with bit of rain around, I think that favours the bowling side first, and it did. They bowled pretty well early on. 

On the plan while defending a relatively small total, given that they stretched it to the very end

We just wanted to try and take some early wickets and build the pressure up, and get it [the required run-rate] up to ten runs per over. We did that [but] unfortunately we weren’t able to close the match out, so it was a disappointing result. 

On the reason for promoting Stuart Binny up the batting order

I am not sure [of the reason] actually. It was probably a good move [as] he played pretty well. He struck the ball nicely. I am not sure what the move was about but obviously the coaching staff had an idea and that paid off. 

On his crucial knock today and what he thinks the other batsmen could have done differently

It is very difficult to look back and pin-point any sort of area [where anyone could have done differently]. We just lost wickets along the way [at regular intervals]. We really didn’t build a lot of partnerships together, and a consistent loss of wickets kept us down a little bit. [...]

On Ben Hilfenhaus’ spell that put RR on the back foot

He bowled pretty well. Those were perfect conditions for him. The ball was swinging and seaming and it did put us on a back foot; four overs for eight runs and two wickets [4-1-8-2]. It was an outstanding effort. 

On still having an outside chance of making it into the final four

I think so. If we win all the last three, then we have got a good chance. We [will now] play Pune [Warriors India] and Deccan Chargers, and Mumbai [Indians] will be the last one here, which will be good. Anything can happen. Hopefully, we are playing good enough cricket to win three out of three matches. 

On the areas that they need to work on

We have worked hard on every aspect. In T20 [matches], some [games] could go your way and some can’t. Everyone is working hard and we just sort of need all to click on the right day. 

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