Smith: 'We didn't do the basics well'

Graeme Smith hopes new surroundings in Grenada and a more positive approach will help South Africa bounce back from their embarrassing World Cup defeat to Bangladesh.

“We now have to win all of our three matches. We would love to do that and we really don’t want to be relying on other teams to get us through,” said the Proteas skipper after the shock 67-run humiliation at the hands of the Asian minnows in Guyana on Saturday.

“We need to regroup and have a fresh environment in Grenada. I think the basic thing is to discuss what went wrong and discuss what improvements we need for our next match.”

International Cricket Council (ICC) match referee Chris Broad fined South Africa for a slow over-rate during the 67-run loss.

“Chris Broad imposed the fines after Graeme Smith’s side was ruled to be one over short of its target at the scheduled finish of the Bangladesh innings when time allowances were taken into consideration,” said an ICC statement.

“In accordance with the ICC code of conduct regulations governing over-rate penalties, players are fined 5% of their match fees for every over their side fails to bowl in the allotted time, with the captain fined double that amount.

“As such, Smith has been fined 10% of his match fee while his players have each received 5% fines.”

Ranked number one in the world, South Africa have four points from as many games, and on Tuesday in Grenada meet the West Indies who are themselves in a must-win situation after losing three of their Super Eights matches.

South Africa must also beat undefeated New Zealand on April 14, also in Grenada, before their last Super Eights match against England three days later in Barbados.

“There is still an opportunity with three big games coming up, and we need to be competitive and it’s important that we regroup,” added Smith, whose team spent almost two weeks in Guyana and were known to be frustrated with the facilities and unpredictable weather.

“It’s difficult to come up with answers after the Bangladesh defeat.
We didn’t do the basics well and gave them an opportunity. They grabbed it with both hands.”

South Africa, who sent Bangladesh in to bat on a slow-paced wicket at the National Stadium here, allowed their opponents to post a challenging 251-8.

In reply, South Africa faltered against Bangladesh’s spinners and folded at 184.

Left-arm slow-bowlers Abdul Razzak (3-25), Saqibul Hasan (2-49) and Mohammad Rafique (1-25) bowled superbly after paceman Syed Rasel gave Bangladesh two early wickets.

“Their spinners bowled very well and I think we allowed them to bowl very well because we were under pressure. We lost a few wickets in a clutch and put ourselves under pressure,” said Smith. “Once we lost those wickets we became tentative and allowed them to grow in confidence. All credit to Bangladesh.”

Bangladesh were reeling at 84-4 before middle-order batsmen Mohammad Ashraful (87) and Aftab Ahmed (35) steadied the innings with a 76-run stand. Their efforts overshadowed a career-best 5-45 from recalled paceman Andre Nel.

Smith praised man-of-the-math Ashraful. “His innings changed things, he set it well, worked the field well and kept us under pressure through the 50 overs from when he came into bat.”

For South Africa, Herschelle Gibbs, batting at number seven with a runner due to a calf injury, top scored with 56. But Smith feared Gibbs may not be available for the crucial match against the West Indies. “His injury is being reassessed and he has a 50-50 chance for the next match.”—Sapa-AFP, Sapa-AP

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