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Harsh Kalan in Pune 19 May 2013 - 11:52pm IST

Good to end on a positive note: Murtaza

PWI spinner praises fans for standing by struggling team

Thanks to back-to-back wins to end their season, the Pune Warriors India avoided the dreaded wooden spoon in IPL 2013. After their close away victory over the Kolkata Knight Riders, the Aaron Finch-led team made easy work of the Delhi Daredevils at the Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium.

One of the architects of PWI’s 38-run triumph was Ali Murtaza, who, in only his third game of the season, conceded just 15 runs off four overs while claiming three crucial DD wickets. In an exclusive chat with IPLT20.com, the left-arm orthodox spinner spoke about the importance of finishing an otherwise forgettable season on a high note. He also praised the loyal PWI fans for supporting their team through thick and thin.

Here are excerpts from his interview:

You looked to have struck form in only your third outing this season?

I have just got a few chances this year. However, Coach, Allan Donald and our support staff have made me practice a lot throughout the season. Therefore, I was really hoping to do well in the last match when I got a chance to play in it.

Did you get any help from the wicket?

The wicket here was a bit slow and the ball was gripping a bit. So, it was good for spinners. It is not easy to score off spinners here. Besides, I have been practicing on the home ground for quite some time, which is why I had an understanding of this wicket. I bowled accordingly while adjusting my line and length.

Was the wicket easier to bat on earlier in the match?

As I said, we have been practicing here for a while – two months. Therefore, we have a good idea about this wicket and we knew how it would play out. So, Aaron Finch and Luke Wright capitalised on that and batted very well and struck some big hits as well. Also, there was an advantage in batting first as the wicket got slower as the game progressed. So, it helped us to put up a big score and then have the other team try and chase it.

According to you, what was the turning point of the match?

I think the turning point was Luke and Angelo Mathews’ partnership. Also, when I got three wickets in a span of two overs, I thought, that helped.

What are the positives that you will take from this tough season?

One of positives is that we finished well in the last game of the season. Also, our team combination was looking good for the last few games. We lost some close matches, which were not that bad.

The crowd in Pune is also very supportive; and they get behind their sportspersons. Be it a day game or a night game, they come to watch them all. The crowd is great here and I always enjoy playing in front of them.

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