Sunday, January 07, 2007

Smith's take on Cape Town victory

From Cape Town
South African captain Graeme Smith was thrilled after South Africa won the third and final Test by five wickets on Saturday to clinch the series 2-1.
"This series win is massive in all of our careers," Smith told a news conference. "We knew how difficult it would be to come back from 1-0 down but we've played superb cricket and never given up.
"We played fantastic cricket to win (the second test) in Durban and the way we stuck to our game plan in this match made the win very meaningful."
Smith made a bold tactical change on the final day by promoting all rounder Shaun Pollock, who batted at number eight in the first innings, to number four.
The move was designed to minimise the effects of a deteriorating pitch and approaching bad weather.
Pollock scored 37 and shared a brisk 72-run partnership for the third wicket with Smith (55).
"Before the ball got to the reverse swinging stage, there was a period where you could score freely," Smith said.
"It was important for us to take the initiative up front this morning and Shaun has all the experience and the ability."
The series was a tour de force for Pollock, who became the first South African to take 400 test wickets during the defeat in Johannesburg.
"You don't get to 400 wickets without knowing what you're doing," Smith said. "I don't know how many compliments we can give the guy but he is a superb asset."
Pollock said South Africa used their sixth place in the test rankings as a spur.
"We're not proud of where we are in the rankings and that was a motivating factor," he said.
"If we keep showing character like this you can expect us to start moving up the rankings."

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