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    Katich, Bhajji question Chennai pitch

    Mumbai suffered a five-wicket defeat to NSW Blues in a low-scoring affair in Chennai.

    Chennai: Following their crucial five-wicket win over Mumbai Indians in the Champions League Twenty20 on Sunday, New South Wales captain Simon Katich said the pitch, with its low bounce, rendered the match into a low-scoring affair.

    Katich, at the same time, backed his side to continue their good form in the rest of the tournament.

    "We had a slow start, we didn't play that well in the first game, we learned lessons from that game," Katich said at the post-match press conference.

    "In the second game, we were lucky to get out of jail, but tonight's performance was a lot better. The nature of T20 is there's going to be days when some guys miss out with the bat and another steps up, but that's the beauty of our team."

    "Hopefully as we go through the tournament, guys will put their hands up and get the job done. Smithy (Steven Smith) and Benny (Ben Rohrer) did it for us today," he said, praising Steve Smith and Ben Rohrer for their match-winning 73-run partnership for the sixth wicket.

    NSW face Chennai in their final group match in what could turn out as a play-off for a spot in the semi-finals.

    "We know Chennai are a tough team so we know we should look to keep improving in every way," Katich said.

    About the wicket in Chennai, on which both teams put up just over 200 runs combined, Katich said, "Look, it wasn't a great wicket, there was a lot of low bounce as well as a two-paced nature to the wicket, some balls skidded on while some went up."

    "I honestly didn't think it was going to keep that low, it looked a good wicket, but it did make it hard to score (on it)," said Katich.

    Katich also gave credit to his bowlers, who restricted Mumbai to a paltry 100 for seven.

    "I thought we bowled very, very well, I thought our fielding was excellent. So I think a lot of credit should go to the bowlers, they set the game up for us," he said.

    "It was a great partnership between Benny (Ben Rohrer) and Smithy (Steven Smith) that got us home. That's the beauty of our batting line-up, we've got a lot of guys that are capable of getting the job done under pressure, like we did today. However, credit to the Mumbai bowlers who did a good job for their side," Katich said.

    On giving Stuart Clark the new ball, he said, "In the first couple of games, it's a big ask for the spinners to bowl the first over and it didn't quite go to plan in the first two games. So we were just trying to get the momentum going in our way rather than letting the opposition get away."

    "And today it went our way, to take a wicket in the first over, put them on the backfoot. Also too, he is a very experienced fast bowler, and you know if you can get your most experienced bowler getting the job done. No disrespect to the spinners, it's a tough ask for them to do that."

    Mumbai Indians skipper Harbhajan Singh, echoing Katich's views on the pitch, said it was not easy to defend such a low total, but that his bowlers, especially Abu Nechim and Lasith Malinga, gave a fine performance.

    "The bounce was very low, but still we could have got 130 or 140 on this pitch. The Blues bowled well and overall, played better than us," said Harbhajan, who will now have to await the results of other Group A fixtures to learn the fate of his team as far as a semi-final spot is concerned.

    "We have to wait now and if we get another game, then we hope to improve," said Harbhajan.

    Man-of-the-match Steve Smith also admitted that it was not the easiest of pitches to bat on, but he and Rohrer decided to play straight and not take any risks.

    "Ben and I decided to bat straight and not hit across the line since the ball was keeping low. We wanted to give ourselves a chance to get in and hence played down the ground."

    "I thought our bowlers too did a fantastic job to restrict Mumbai for a low score," added Smith.