Time Friday Mar 09 2018

Despite virtual elimination, Qalandars still playing for 'all the Lahoris back home': Devcich

DUBAI: Lahore Qalandars’ batsman Anton Devcich said that the team is upset over not being able to justify the support it gets from Lahore and despite virtual elimination, the team is still playing for 'all the Lahoris people back home'.

Speaking to media after Qalandar’s defeat by Islamabad United – their sixth defeat in a row – the New Zealander said that Lahore crowd has always supported the team and the people of Lahore are only motivation left for them in the tournament.

“All the Lahore people back home,” he responded when a journalist asked what’s the motivation left for Lahore Qalandars in the tournament after six consecutive defeats which has now virtually eliminated them from the race to playoffs

“At the moment we are not doing the Lahore people justice, they are great supporters of us. That’s the thing which hurts the most. There are certainly back in Lahore who support this franchise, support this team and support this team and support the players,” he added.

The 32-year-old who has represented New Zealand in 12 ODIs and 4 T20Is said that 163 was a respectable and defendable total scored by Qalandars but Luke Ronchi took the game away from them.

“We managed to put what I thought was a respectable total on the board. I guess you have to take hats off to Luke Ronchi he played extremely well on a slow wicket. He took the game away from us in first six of seven overs,” he said.

Replying to a question, the Kiwi batsman said that slowing down the scoreboard in middle over wasn’t a strategy but they were looking to keep wicket in hands and then launch the charge after 15th over.

“27 off 45 balls wasn’t the strategy but they bowled well in the middle order and it was very hard to hit. Our thought there was to get around 130/135 in 15 overs and then launch from there with wickets in hand. That something we hadn’t been able to do in previous five games so we were trying to rectify that problem,” he said.

He, however, agreed that slowing down scoring in middle orders probably took game away from Qalandars.

“Potentially it took the game away from us but you have to trust the batsmen out there to assess the condition and play on. 165 was very defendable, we probably didn’t expect the wicket to skid off under the lights as much it did,” he said.

“In hindsight may be, when you consistently lost wickets through the period for not too many runs, we were trying to right the few wrongs,” he added.