Nagpur, March 13 (IANS) South African captain Grame Smith was having nightmares of chasing 400 plus when Indian openers Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag were batting, but took a sigh of relief after the Proteas snatched a thrilling three-wicket in a crucial World Cup Group B match here Saturday.”The guys fought back well. It was great to win this match. The way India batted for 15 overs, the projected score kept changing.
After the fall of Sachin and Gautam Gambhir we just got together and thought of stringing together some good overs. We set some targets, its is another matter that we beat our targets by long margins. Dale bowled well, and to chase down the runs under pressure is great,” said Smith.
Smith lavishly praised his middle-order saying the win will give them confidence as the tournament approaches the knock-out stage.
“For 25 overs up front we took a beating, but for the other 75 we came back really hard and showed some real fight. The guys showed a lot of composure, it was helluva noisy out here. In the middle over we batted well and it is was a great win in front of packed stadium. The confidence you get out of a win like this is huge. I haven’t seen Robin (Peterson) hit the ball that clean in a long time, we’ve backed him in this World Cup and he’s performed,” he said.
Peterson said he was extremely ecstatic.
“To have a great game with so many great innings was such a good advert for the world cup. I’ve got to give Johan (Botha) credit, he put them under pressure with that cameo. We were quite calm in the changing room, but it was nice to come out on the winning side!”
Steyn, who was Man of the Match with his five for 50, said it was great team performance.
“After my first five overs I was staring down the barrel, but we pulled it backed beautifully. A great team performance. Once we picked up one wicket, we picked up another and we started build up pressure and a wave of energy on the field that we could capitalise on,” he said.