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Yusuf Pathan''s knock was the difference: Smith

Posted By: Pti

Cape Town, Jan 18 (PTI) Indian batsman Yusuf Pathan''sterrific 50-ball 59-run innings put South Africa under immensepressure and proved to be the difference between the two teamsin the third one-dayer, feels host captain Graeme Smith.

Chasing 221 for win, Pathan hammered the South Africanbowlers to all parts of the park to bring India back incontention after the visitors were reeling at 93 for five atone stage.

"Yusuf Pathan''s knock was the difference. The pitch wasvery two-paced and also up and down. It was not the bestone-day wicket I have ever played on but it made for anexciting game," Smith said.

"It is terrific to see a guy like him come in. He had agood domestic season and just to carry that on here is good.

He has prepared well, I have watched him in training. He willbring a lot to the squad I think.

"It was great to see him and play that well. Especiallyunder pressure. We were under pressure when he came in. Ithink he has something special, which is good," he added.

Smith said the third powerplay robbed South Africa off agood score and they fall short by 20 runs.

"I think 220 gave us a chance. The wicket was verydifficult to bat on, had sort of plates on it, and itstwo-paced nature made strokes very difficult. It also had upand down bounce," he said.

"We were really hoping for 240. I think 240 would havebeen a really good total there. JP Duminy and debutant Faff duPlessis played well together to take us to a decent total. OurPowerplay was poor again, we lost JP and Faff within twoovers, and we only got 19 overs in our last six overs.

"I really felt if we got 240 we were in with a real goodchance of winning the game. We came real close, we missed twocrucial chances at the back end, but I can''t fault the guys''commitment tonight, their intensity and the effort they gave,"he added.

Smith said the team needs to keep doing the right thingsto bounce back after such close defeats in back-to-back gamesand hoped the World Cup squad announcement will also ease thepressure on his boys.

"I think it''s always important to keep doing the rightthings at training," he said.

"Keep reiterating the same point. The margins have beenso small in the last two games, we could easily be 2-1 up or3-0 up. Just got to keep training hard and keep doing theright things and hopefully the things will kick into place.

"The World Cup squad comes out tonight, that will ease alot of minds and stress on players. Hopefully free up a lot ofplayers, and make them play with sort of freedom in the nextfew games," he added.

Story first published: Wednesday, January 19, 2011, 12:01 [IST]
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