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7th June 2009

Smith: We’re going to have to fight hard for those 6 wickets

“We set a target to face about 200 balls as a batter in four day cricket so I think I faced a few more and although I didn’t score that many in Twenty20 I never felt out of knick.  I’ve always felt great and I’ll continue to feel pretty good.  My technique now is honed to just about where I need it to be and it’s just a case of making sure I face the balls and take advantage of scoring opportunities when they come along. 

“The pitch is a little bit two paced so if you bowl decent areas and be fairly disciplined it’s quite hard to score.  The plan was to bat for as many balls as possible and get some of their bowlers on to their second and third spells and make sure we batted a long time and that freed up our lower order to play a few shots which Blackie [who scored 68] did nicely.  It was a case of batting patiently”, said Smith.

With Hampshire already 52-4 in their second innings Smith credits the bowling attack for their impressive efforts over the two days.  “We’ve got a quality bowling attack, Graham is bowling as well as I’ve ever seen him bowl and Stephen has bowled brilliantly this game.  Callum bowled well at the end today and Mitch picked up two key wickets yesterday” added Smith.

Despite the team’s confidence, they know a big effort is required on Monday, “They’ve sent in two nightwatchmen so their batsmen will come in lower down so we’re aware that there’s still a lot of hard work to do and that they’re not just going to roll over.  We’ll turn up tomorrow expecting them to fight hard and we’re going to have to fight harder to get these last six wickets”, said Smith.

Head Coach Geoff Cook added, “I think there is still a lot left to play.   It’s our fourth game this season, we’ve come into the last day of the three previous games with a chance of victory and we haven’t been able to nail it down so it’s really important we get stuck in first thing in the morning and make their batsmen as unsettled as we possibly can, and finish off the game sometime tomorrow. “

Play on day three is scheduled to start at 11.00am and tickets can be purchased on the gate priced at £15 for adults and £6 for juniors.