After helping Australia cross the finish line, Matthew Wade commended his batting partner Marcus Stoinis for the way he took on Haris Rauf in the 17th over and said that was possibly the turning point of the match. The slog overs also saw Hasan Ali dropping Wade off Shaheen Afridi in the 19th over, with the ‘keeper-batter cracking the next three balls for sixes to seal their spot in the final.
“I don’t think any of them [the drop and missed run-out chances] were the turning points of the match,” Wade said at the post-match press conference on Saturday (November 11). “I think the way Marcus Stoinis batted at the end, to be honest, was probably the turning point of the match. I think when I came out there, he might have hit the spinner [Shadab Khan] for six, the first ball when I got out there. I think that kind of play, in my eyes, he’s really gutsy in those decisions that you make out in the middle, win you games. He could’ve easily blocked that ball he went for, hit a six and then that total comes down a little bit more.
“But I think the turning point of the game I thought was Marcus’s over against Rauf. I thought that kind of swung the momentum our way and gave us an opportunity to win the game. It’s just an easy thing to do to focus in on missed chances. Yes, maybe it would have gone down late in the last over, but I’m still confident we could have gone home,” he added.
Both Wade and Stoinis mostly bat at the top of the order for their respective teams in the BBL. Both players though have a good understanding, evidenced by the fact that the duo has batted together for Victoria and Australia for a period of 6-7 years. Wade also observed that batting with Stoinis gives the player at the other end ‘confidence’ as the all-rounder is renowned for playing the big shots.
“It’s confidence, I think. Confidence in your ability to be able to finish the game. To be able to bat with Marcus has been awesome. Obviously [I’ve] played a lot of cricket with him at Victoria and early on in his career. Obviously saw him grow into the cricketer he is today. To go out and bat with him certainly gives you a lot of confidence. I know if I can just hang with him for four or five overs, then he’s going to find the boundary. He’s too good and strong not to. So, the reason that me and him are working well towards the back end is we know each other’s game so much.
“In the optional sessions, the day before the game, you’ll find me and Steve Smith and Marcus Stoinis go down again in closed sessions because we haven’t got a lot of match practice. It’s been invaluable to see what those guys are doing in training, especially Stoiny, work out his strengths, when he’s hitting the ball at his best. And he can see me do exactly the same thing.”
Wade also employed the lap shot against Afridi. The wicketkeeper-batter said that he had that shot in his arsenal for a long period of time, and he used it to manoeuvre the field. “I’ve had those [scoops and laps] for a longish period of time. I’ve been playing them from early on in my career as well. But, yes, certainly [it] was something I needed to tap back into a little bit more when I’m batting down the bottom.
“It’s easy to have the fine leg up a lot of the time at the end, but someone that laps, it kind of opens up the whole field for you. You’ve got to either have mid-off up or third man up or one of the fielders on the off side. It kind of opens the whole field up for you a little bit.”