Cricket World Cup 2011

Smith dumbfounded by defeat

2011-03-25 20:27
Graeme Smith (File)

Dhaka - South Africa skipper Graeme Smith admitted he was lost for words by his team's stunning 49-run defeat to New Zealand in the World Cup quarter-finals on Friday.

Video: Smith faces the press

Gallery: Proteas crash out

Video: Kyle Mills taunts Faf du Plessis

South Africa, who have never won the World Cup, crashed to 172 all out from a position of strength when they were 108-2 chasing a modest 222 to reach the semi-finals.

But their inability to cope with intense pressure plagued them yet again to leave the Black Caps with a semi-final date against either Sri Lanka or England who play on Saturday.

"There are no words to describe how I feel," said Smith.

"We just have to take it on the chin. It was a very disappointing evening. I thought we bowled pretty well and when we were 100 for 2, we were sitting well, and then we lost too many wickets."

Smith was mystified by a World Cup record which shows South Africa having failed to win any knockout game in the tournament since their 1992 debut.

"Your guess is as good as mine. It's been happening since 1992. We just weren't good enough tonight, but we have to take it forward and not get bogged down," said Smithl, who captained the side for the last time in ODI's.

"There will be a new coach and new captain. We are disappointed with tonight, and nothing I say is going to change that for fans back home."

New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori praised his team's spirit in the field especially when they had to defend a modest total.

"Every single bowler stepped up today, and probably it was the fielding that got us through," said Vettori.

"Once we got 220, we knew we had to be aggressive. We were hanging in there. We knew it was a tricky wicket and it was going to be an old-school one-day game."


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