Smith: We were outplayed

2014-03-05 19:39

Cape Town - Proteas Test captain Graeme Smith has admitted that his side were outplayed in their third Test defeat to Australia at Newlands on Wednesday.

As it happened: SA v Oz Day 5

Australia won the series-deciding Test by 245 runs in a nailbiting finish with just 27 balls to spare after a day of epic home resistance.

Ryan Harris bowled Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel with the first and third balls of his 25th over as Australia won the match as well as the series by two Tests to one.

Steyn and Vernon Philander (51 not out) came together with 19.5 overs remaining and survived until Harris returned to the attack for a final burst.

Michael Clarke's side became the first team to win a series against South Africa since Ricky Ponting's Australians won by the same margin in South Africa in 2008/09.

South Africa will retain their number one position in the official Test rankings, but the defeat could signal the imminent end of an era, with captain Graeme Smith stepping down from international cricket.

Smith's retirement, announced after the third day's play, follows the retirement earlier in the season of star all-rounder Jacques Kallis, while long-serving wicketkeeper Mark Boucher was forced to quit through injury in 2012.

Australia, on the other hand, continued a resurgence under the leadership of Clarke and coach Darren Lehmann, following their 5-0 Ashes triumph against England earlier in the season.

"It has been tough away from home for us for a long time.

"The way the boys have played is tremendous.

"The series in India and England were not good. To turn it around is great," said Clarke.

"Playing South Africa, and in South Africa, has been the greatest challenge."

Smith admitted he had endured a tough few days both professionally and personally with his daughter Cadence reportedly unwell.

"The courage the guys showed was immense.

"We have been outplayed in this Test throughout so it was important to show the fight today," said Smith.

"I am really proud of that, but it is important to congratulate Michael Clarke and his team.

"We have had great battles over the past years, and this one will go down too."

When South Africa resumed on 71 for four it seemed unlikely they could pull off another great escape to go along with a draw they earned against Australia in Adelaide in 2011/12 and India in Johannesburg earlier this season.

But a succession of stubborn partnerships took the match down to the last five overs.

AB de Villiers and nightwatchman Kyle Abbott defied Australia's bowlers for just over an hour and a half during an extended morning's play before Abbott, who batted for 116 minutes and faced 89 balls in scoring seven runs, did not play a shot to a ball from James Pattinson which cut back and clipped the top of his off stump.

The home side's hopes seemed to rest with De Villiers and Faf du Plessis, two of the key figures when South Africa fought out a draw from a similar position in Adelaide in November 2012.

De Villiers started his innings after tea on the fourth day.

He was dismissed in the fifth over with the second new ball when he edged Harris to wicketkeeper Brad Haddin. He had batted for 326 minutes and faced 228 balls.

It was an effort reminiscent of De Villiers' innings in Adelaide when he batted for more than four hours and faced 220 balls in scoring 33.

On that occasion, Du Plessis, making his debut, saved the match with a marathon innings of 110 not out.

Du Plessis was again resolute but shortly before tea he was leg before wicket to the first ball of a new spell by part-time leg-spinner Steve Smith, who pitched a ball on a good length on leg stump, turning slightly towards middle, with Du Plessis misjudging the line.

Du Plessis sought a review but it confirmed that umpire Kumar Dharmasena had made the right decision. Du Plessis batted for 157 minutes and faced 109 balls in making 47.

But the drama was not finished as Philander defied the Australians for 155 minutes and 105 balls.

Australia were on top virtually from the start of the decisive Test, with opening batsman and man of the series David Warner setting the tone with a rapid century in the first innings which he followed with another hundred in the second innings.

Australia took a first innings lead of 207, with Mitchell Johnson taking four wickets and Harris three, then rattled up 303 for five declared in their second innings to set South Africa a nominal target of 511.


  • Ken Alles - 2014-03-05 19:44

    Well Played Aus... Now is the Time to start to Rebuild as we need to look to the future. What is done is done. We need a Captain and Top 3 batsman that can score runs on a regular basis for us.

      lizdon.ferguson - 2014-03-05 22:36

      Ken alles. Well said

  • Zoheb Hassan - 2014-03-05 19:45

    Hmmm is this the start of a new aussie era and a proteas downfall??? One can only wonder wat the future holds

      Ken Alles - 2014-03-06 03:04

      Zoheb not so sure. They will loose Harris soon and the not to long after Mitchel Johnson as he is almost 33. Normally Bowlers retire before batsman as it is more demanding on the body... Their Batting line up looks like they will loose a couple of players soon. Rogers and Haddin are due to retire if you look at their age. They will be good for the next year or Two but we can compete if we act Fast...

      Harris Philip - 2014-03-06 10:56

      Ken , have you taken a look at the QUEUE of young fast bowling talent lining up to get into the Aussie side ? Some idiot of a journalist wrote (before the three tests) that Harris would "inevitably" break down during the Test series .......well he DIDNT did he ...instead he stuffed us up. This is half our problem ......I think our Proteas listen too much to half-wits who keep telling them they are the best Test team in the world with the best bowling attack and Batting. This series clearly showed who is the best.

  • Charles Roberts - 2014-03-05 19:47

    Well ja , the top order should do some serious soul searching , the lower order can be proud of themselves . Good time to ride off into the sunset pastor .

  • Ayasaba Magwala Dubula Dubula - 2014-03-05 19:48

    Proteas chokers,bafuny bafuny useles bunch of losers.poor young goalkeeper to be exposed because of old mogeis at back.I give up.

      Nic Mechanic - 2014-03-05 21:23

      ...tik talk?....

  • Spikkels NK - 2014-03-05 19:54

    Well Graeme, YOU were certainly outplayed...45 runs in 6 innings in this series. Tail-ender Philander scored more than that in one innings today.

      Bradley Craig Naidoo - 2014-03-05 22:12

      Read all the Smith supporters' abusive comments to other N24 forum posters...

      Spikkels NK - 2014-03-06 03:45

      @RAA - none, but I don't see how that is relevant. I am not measuring Smith's performance against my own, but against that of the rest of the team. What is relevant is that in an innings when the team needed their captain to pitch up and make a stand, he only stuck around for three balls. Only #11 Morkel managed to spend less time at the crease.

      Paul Holzman - 2014-03-06 17:56

      and his overall record, in his 13 yr career, he never had a bad season

  • Ryan Kalil - 2014-03-05 20:07

    Look at smiths overall stats. Then comment,his last tests have been bad and he was man enough to do what he has done.22 he was captain for his country. What were all you doing at 22?fickle people.

      Nic Mechanic - 2014-03-05 21:19 you like Bells?....

      paul.john.790256q - 2014-03-05 23:04

      Making millions

  • nathi.mfaka - 2014-03-05 20:12

    We have just become the nation of bunch of losers. Mediocre performance

      Nic Mechanic - 2014-03-05 21:16

      the ignorance is strong with this one.....

      Ken Alles - 2014-03-05 21:29

      Since 2009 we haven't lost one match and now you come with such a statement? Ok now please tell us what Bafana Bafana has achieved since 2009 or even better as i see you are a avid ANC supporter. What have the ANC achieved since 2009???

  • Elliot Menziwa - 2014-03-05 20:15

    Australia always prove to be a potent adversary..yet all is not lost...with so many young stars knocking....

  • Bardof Blairgowrie - 2014-03-05 20:15

    Outplayed, but not disgraced. At all. See how elated the Criminals were to have won.

      Louis Heubner - 2014-03-05 22:34

      you are a disgrace of a human being. U really are a sour puss.

      Bardof Blairgowrie - 2014-03-05 23:18

      Louis, you must understand, it gave me no pleasure - none whatsoever - to refer to the Australians as Criminals. They so don't deserve being tarred with the same brush as their forefathers. That is why I derive no pleasure from calling them Criminals.

      Johnny Axe - 2014-03-06 00:21

      And yet you had the most famous criminal of them all.

      Harris Philip - 2014-03-06 10:59

      "the criminals" ..........looking at our nations crime rate and the electric fences , razor wire and secure complexes we surround ourselvrs with ......I wonder who the criminals ARE?

  • Ryan Kalil - 2014-03-05 20:15

    First test series loss since 2008. Do you want blood.

  • Anita Zondagh - 2014-03-05 20:25

    No sh-t!

  • Timothy Kruger - 2014-03-05 20:30

    Philander you beaut, jou yster, Ubuhle wena :D. All the best for the future Graeme Smith, in the beginning I wasn't your biggest fan but you proved me wrong time and time again, although I really do wish you proved me wrong one last time on your final test, but all I can say to you is it looks like you've got your priorities in check, which is very commendable.

      Nic Mechanic - 2014-03-05 21:13

      ...well put Timothy...agree with you...

  • larry.simon.7 - 2014-03-05 20:40

    Bad form to retire in the middle of a test series. Could you not have waited until today???

      Bardof Blairgowrie - 2014-03-05 23:19

      Yes Larry he will not be remembered for his social graces.

      Johnny Axe - 2014-03-06 00:23

      If he did wait to the end there wouldn't have been a guard of honour for him when he came out to bat for the last time. He wouldn't want to miss out on that.

  • Siakha Bin Gxagxa - 2014-03-05 20:45

    From a father's prospective I have to salute greame smith. To have a child in and out of hospital and then still be able to go out there and lead the saide to the best of ur ability says a lot about the carector of the man. Farewell BIFF.

      Bradley Craig Naidoo - 2014-03-05 22:15

      I, too, have to still go to work when my kids are sick. What made Smith's deed so special from the rest of other parents ?

  • Alain Smit - 2014-03-05 20:46

    Waltzing Matilda, Waltzing Matilda, You'll come a Waltzing Matilda with me, And he sang as he watched and waited till his billy boil You'll come a Waltzing Matilda with me.

  • Zahir - 2014-03-05 21:03

    Smith did not score runs and spend so little time batting this series he had enough time to find better excuses

  • Original Mistry Kraso - 2014-03-05 21:31

    Smith suck I wonder hu wl rmber you coz you wr ashameed that's y u quit

  • Drake Richardson - 2014-03-05 21:57

    Outplayed.?....... outplayed? ... no...... you had your butts kickef from the first ball bowled. Class has trumped over your political crap. Keep this up and I hope this happens more often. Must be soooooo embarrassing to see the so called no 1 team in the world having to fight for their life like that. Rankings obviously a farce

  • Christie Serfontein - 2014-03-05 22:09

    The problem was the absence of Jarques Kallis. Alviro and Elgar is not international standard and will never be.If every batsman 3 more balls the. Test could have been saved. Morkel is bowling too short. He must make the batsmen more play at his deliveries. When the Ausies bated the pitch was "hondmak and we batted it looked like unplayable?

      jakkals.rooies - 2014-03-05 22:21

      Christie, first of all, Kallis is done. He was the best,but is gone now. Let it be. And by the way, who prepared the pitch, the Ausies? Morkel and all his mates have "some" savvy. Can't you see your bowling is not working? So maybe if we get a proper coach who make the calls and not leave it to the players/ captain to run the show, we might play real cricket!

  • WILDSBOK - 2014-03-05 22:10

    You think Mnr Smith????

  • Warren Pollard - 2014-03-05 22:15

    Smith was a good captain but to say that we would be lost without him is not right. He has scored little runs in the last two tournaments.

  • Sandi Madliwa - 2014-03-05 22:19

    eish our national teams n soccer they a bunch of....minister to comment

  • sydney.silver.98 - 2014-03-05 22:31

    For Smith to jump ship in the middle of a test match does not make him worthy to be called the captain of the Proteas. After being kicked out of the World Cup he ran to Ireland to his girlfriend and his team mates had to face the music for their poor performance. The Proteas with Smith at the helm, never had a captain. Sport Min - any comments?

  • Gideon de Jongh - 2014-03-05 22:38

    At Bradley Craig Naidoo Smith is no different from any other parent except unlike us he cant just call in and ask the boss if he can take the day off to take his sick child to hospital that is the diffrence between a normal job and a captain of a national team. Secondly we as a sport crazy nation is partly to blame cause we put sport men and women on peddistills and forget they just human like us with families and children that need them. We sometimes want our sport stars to be super human and they are not they are just human with flaws and they deal with the same issues as any other human.

  • Shaun Campbell - 2014-03-05 22:49

    Captain Courages - Salute from a Proteas' fan, win or lose! Historic day!

  • Louis J Nel - 2014-03-06 01:06

    Can't beat the Aussies in SA for 44 years! Even harder to see this mob winning the World Cup EVER!

  • Leigh Le Gonidec - 2014-03-06 02:47

    "nail biting finish" ….sorry, 245 runs and 27 balls is Not close….

      Harris Philip - 2014-03-06 11:08

      Leigh , this is the comedy show ..........there are hundreds of thousands of our fans out there who would have regarded a DRAW as a VICTORY !! .......pretty sad really but it speaks volumes.

  • Sibusiso Mcebisi Matinise - 2014-03-06 02:59

    Also bunch of loosers.Springboks are our last hope in this country

  • Tumi Motlatla - 2014-03-06 06:15

    He is the main reason we lost this Australia. He didn't even contribute more than 20 runs for the entire series. What a relief that this man is leaving, he was a great captain but his betting was very poor of lately.

  • Peter Karam - 2014-03-06 06:16

    Come on. ST were woeful and looked like whipping boys. Scared

  • Ken Pauls - 2014-03-06 06:44

    Out Paid not out Played

  • Dan Mahla - 2014-03-06 06:56

    Smith led the team to defeat! Always biting nails on the field!! Annoying!!

  • Hendrik Wiewilweet - 2014-03-06 08:32

    Nothing new.

  • Ian Spear - 2014-03-06 12:47

    Smitty, I beg to differ with you, I would rather say that you and your BRAINSTRUST were outwittedt on this one. I presume you had a game plan on the assumption that you won the toss and would have tried to have batted as long as possible negating any hopes of Australia winning the test. Unfortunately they one the toss and imposed the exact game plan on SA. Furtherto, you lost your trump card"STEYNTJIE" after bowling only10 overs. With all this in mind I question SA's game plan going forward from the morning of the third day. SA came out blazing, got some quick runs, but lost 4 quick wickets handing Clarke et al the initiative.Clarke and his "BRAINSTRUST" are too streetwise to have let the initiative go, and from the third day teatime we were always going to be on the backffot. SA must have known 'STEYNTJIE" was not going to be bowling much in the Australian 2nd innings. SA managed to capture 5 Australian scalps in their first innings. With all this in mind what was the game plan, hand Australia the test and series on a plate, no brainer. The only mistake Clarke made was the timing of the declaration, nearly cost him the test. He wanted to declare earlier with a lead of 425/450 trusting in his attack, but one could see that there were too many captains in theit dressing room. The SA batting gave a lot away. One opener not in form, the other having had no game time, so lets cover with Elgar at 3, Would have been better for Elgar to have opened and You at 6.

  • Andre Malherbe - 2014-03-06 13:34

    I agree that they where outplayed but a few points to ponder. 1. The Aussies arrived on our shores battle hardend. The Proteas had 2 games against a very weak Indian side and a 3 day game against SA B as preperation...ideal i think not. 2. Whether we like it or not but for too long we have relied on only a few players to win games for us. AB comes to mind but Hash, AB and on a few ocassions Biff came to the party batting wise, as for the rest i think not. AB alone cannot win games for us. 3. Fact. The Aussies have a better bowling attack than us..right now. Fact. Because of my point number 1 the Aussie batsmen arrived on form. The amount of 100s they got vs the Proteas says it all. 4. The Aussies have a coach that reinstalled the agressive nature of their play. The last two series wins proofs that. Do our SA coaches provide the same kind of back up as the Aussie coaches do. Lastly. Due to CSA incompotence i think we where headind for this loss even before it started. Lets hope lessons have been learnt from this.

  • Christie Serfontein - 2014-03-07 06:56

    Come to think of if each of the batsmen faced only 3 balls the test would have been a draw. However the big was the pitch was ”hondmak” for the Ausies but for the Proteas it appeared to be nihgtmare.The question is did Alviro and Elgar really tried hard enough or are the really of international standard. The fact is to be honest the PrOteas are on their way down fast and furious.Mark my word.

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