Smith bullish despite Aussies' victory

South Africa captain Graeme Smith said his team remained confident of World Cup success despite their loss to Australia in their Group A match on Saturday.

“A victory would have been terrific, but there’s still so much cricket to be played in the tournament,” Smith told a news conference.

“The key is to win enough games to get yourself into the semifinals and we know what we need to do.”

Australia totalled 377 for six, their record score in the tournament and dismissed South Africa for 294 to win by 83 runs.

South Africa, who went into tournament as the world’s top ranked team, were on course to win while AB de Villiers and Smith shared an opening stand of 160.

But the South Africans lost their way after De Villiers was run out for 92 by Shane Watson and Smith retired hurt with cramp on 72.

Surged back

Australia surged back into the match and took South Africa’s last seven wickets for 38 runs.

“A total of 350 would probably have been a gettable total, maybe 378 was a few too many to chase,” Smith said.

“We were right in there up until the 35th over, maybe we left ourselves too much to do in the last 10 overs.

“The turning point for me was that AB and I theoretically got out at about the same time. I’ve never had cramp as badly as that before.”

Smith returned to the crease in the 41st over but he faced just two more balls before he miscued a sweep off leg spinner Brad Hogg and was caught by wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist for 74.

Smith was satisfied that his team had put up a competitive performance.

“We certainly had opportunities to win the game,” he said. “We lost wickets at crucial times, they bowled well in the last 10 overs and they had 20 runs too many.”

South Africa move on to the Super Eights in Guyana, where their first game is against Sri Lanka on Wednesday.

“One of our strengths of late is our ability to pick ourselves up; we’re not a team that kills ourselves after we’ve lost a game,” Smith said.

“It’s important to learn the lessons and move on.
We’re not going to mope around.” - Reuters

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