Durban: Mumbai Indians skipper Harbhajan Singh said the defending champions paid the price for a slow start in their 12-run loss to Sydney Sixers in a Group B match of the Champions League Twenty20 at Kingsmead on Monday. Mumbai Indians' disastrous campaign in the tournament came to an end with their third defeat in four matches as they failed to perform as a unit in high-pressure situations, thus ending on a winless note.
"This was a kind of a game that hurt more than last few games. 137 was very much gettable, not just in 20 overs, but 18 overs. I think we batted too slow in the opening part and didn't look to carry on," said Harbhajan at the post-match presentation ceremony.
Openers Sachin Tendulkar and Dwayne Smith started the run chase on a cautoious note as the pair had tough time negotiating Sydney bowlers before reaching 30 in the six overs of the powerplay.
"We didn't take our opportunity and didn't play well enough. We didn't take responsibility, and this is where we stand. In all these games, we didn't get a start in the first six overs. Whenever we got the start in the first six overs...if you see the last game against CSK, we were chasing 170-odd and we were 26 for two and here today, we were chasing 137. These kind of games, you have to take the game away from the opposition by scoring runs in the first six, and that didn't happen, and that's an area of concern. Even in the IPL, the same thing happened. That's where we have to improve as a team," added Harbhajan.
The skipper, however, expressed satisfaction over the performance of his bowling unit.
"We bowled really well throughout the tournament. The bowlers did a good job and that's all I can say. We tried our best, probably we didn't play as well as the other teams played," he said.
Sydney Sixers captain, Brad Haddin said the boys played smart cricket and kept the opposition batsmen under check with tight fielding.
"This was our best fielding display and I am proud of that. I am always awake [about his catches and Test chances], but my chance here is to lead this bunch and they are really smart and they know their role. Just score one more than the other team [in the semi-final]," said Haddin.
Man-of-the-match, Steve Smith said it's always a challenge to perform against a strong team like Mumbai Indians.
"Our first game under the lights which took a while before getting used to it. It's always a good challenge to come out against a team like Mumbai and perform. I work on trying to be there till the end but played a lazy shot. It was nice to score a few runs in the middle. Looking forward to the semifinal game," he said.