Pathan was difference between win and loss: Smith

Posted By: Pti

Cape Town, Jan 18 (PTI) South Africa captain Graeme Smithtoday said that Yusuf Pathan''s breezy innings ruined the dayfor his side in the third cricket one-dayer against Indiahere.

Pathan proved to be the difference between the two sidesas he took his chances and hammered the South African bowlers,especially the spinners, to all parts of the ground en routeto his 50-ball 59-run knock on a two-paced Newlands track.

Chasing 221 for win, Pathan teamed up with Suresh Raina(37 off 47) to bring India back in contention with less than arun-a-ball 75-run sixth wicket stand after the visitors werereeling at 93 for five at one stage.

"It was very disappointing to end up on the losing side.

We were probably 20 runs short but Pathan''s knock made thedifference today," Smith said after his side two-wicket loss.

"It was a two-paced wicket. It was not the best of ODIwickets. All batters struggled here except for Pathan. Helooked it was easy to bat on here," he said.

He also lauded Morne Morkel (3/28) for his lion-heartedperformance.

"As usual Morkel was incredible for us. But we need towork on our batting in powerplay. We need to regroup andbetter our performance in the next match," Smith added.

Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni too lauded Pathan andsaid he is happy as long as the hard-hitter plays his naturalgame.

"It was good effort from the batsmen. The lowermiddle-order also played well. But Pathan was superb.

"He played his natural game. I want him to continueplaying the kind of cricket he plays," Dhoni said.

Dhoni also lauded his death bowlers for their superb showduring the fag end of the South African innings.

"The best thing today was our powerplay and deathbowling," the Indian skipper said.

Man-of-the-match Pathan said he was just playing hisnatural game today.

"It''s a good win for us. I was just looking to hit theballs which were in my areas," he said.

Story first published: Wednesday, January 19, 2011, 3:00 [IST]
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