‘Rewarding victory’ for SA
18 Feb 2013
CAPE TOWN — South Africa’s four-wicket victory over Pakistan in Cape Town was one of the team’s more gratifying wins of late, skipper Graeme Smith said yesterday.
“It was a really good Test and we were under quite a bit of pressure at times,” Smith said after the team’s sixth consecutive win and 14th match unbeaten.
“At the start of day three, we needed two days of big performances and to do that was incredible. It was one of the more rewarding victories we’ve had recently.”
Smith said Robin Peterson’s 84, when the innings was shaky at 164/6, and the contributions made by the lower order were inspirational and key to turning the game around.
Used to playing on pitches that offer pace and bounce, the Proteas were made to work hard for their wickets and Smith said he had enjoyed the contest.
“The conditions were challenging and not ideal for us, but we’ve got to play on what we’re given,” Smith said.
“To come through on these conditions is big for us and to win in spinning conditions, when the ball is not really carrying, is exciting.”
Pakistan spinner Saeed Ajmal took four for 51 in South Africa’s second- innings run chase and returned match figures of 10 for 147.
“Ajmal bowls at a really quick pace and has a delayed action, which makes it difficult for the batsman to use his feet,” Smith said.
Apart from Peterson’s innings, which was crucial for them to get as close as possible to Pakistan’s first innings total, Smith felt the other turning point in the match was controlling Pakistan’s run rate in their second innings. Peterson humbly said the team victory was far more important than his personal accolade of being named man of the match.