Cricket Australia

http://www.cricket.com.au/Global Items/news/2012/1/11/easy-win-surprises-sok

Easy win surprises O'Keefe

UPDATED 12 February, 2013 4:00PM AEST | by Iain Strachan, Sportal

Sydney Sixers spinner Steve O'Keefe welcomed his team's surprisingly comprehensive 64-run victory over the Adelaide Strikers in the KFC T20 Big Bash League.

Sixers captain Steve Smith won the toss and chose to bat at the Adelaide Oval on Tuesday, with his team posting 8-151 for their 20 overs.

A spin-heavy Sixers' bowling attack then ripped through the hosts, who were all out for 87 in reply.

Nathan McCullum and Stuart McGill took two wickets apiece and Smith one, while O'Keefe bagged three scalps, helping his team climb to third place in the league.

"It's a very good batting wicket although slow bowlers can be hard work hence why we picked five, but we weren't expecting to bowl them (out) for 87 at all," O'Keefe said.

"I guess sometimes in Twenty20 matches it can go that way when you get on top early like we did and maintain that pressure where we got wickets at crucial times - pretty much every couple of overs."

"Looking at the wicket though I didn't think it was going to spin as much as it usually does out there ... it looked like it was skidding on a bit more."

"But I think given the thickness of the ground, the cushioning of the grass and the size of the ground it sometimes makes it harder work for batters to stop the reverse way when spinners get a bit of momentum."

"We were fortunate enough to get away with a result like that but we did bowl well and I think we deserve it."

O'Keefe revealed the inspiration for employing a specialist spin attack came from the work done by Strikers' coach.

The former Australia international relied on the contribution of his spinners during the South Australian Redbacks' successful campaign in the 2010/11 Big Bash.

"Darren Berry was sort of a pioneer in terms of what he's done in picking spinners, it's worked for them in the past so we thought we would give it a crack as well because we have got some quality spinners," O'Keefe said.

"We've imported Nathan McCullum, Dom Thornley, MacGill, Smith ... so we've got a lot of options in our side and hopefully it will hold us in good stead for the rest of the tournament."

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia

First Posted 11 January, 2012 9:16AM AEST

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