~~Even in South Africa, we dont get such pitches~~

Published: Saturday, October 28, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Mohali:After his pacemen steamrolled Pakistan for a semi-final berth in the ICC Champions Trophy, Proteas skipper Greame Smith appeared positively surprised at the green top here and said he could not have expected such a pitch even in South Africa.

''To be honest, even back home we wouldn't have a got a pitch like that. This pitch did surprise us,'' the skipper said.

Smith admitted having a few butterflies in the stomach after his team were at 42 for five but said he had faith in Mark Boucher and Justin Kemp.

''Batting first after winning the toss was a brave decision. And at 42 for five, I thought whether I made a mistake or not. But I'd confidence in Boucher and Kemp and they batted well under the circumstances,'' he said.

''At one stage, I thought that even 120 to 150 would suffice but they really made it challenging. I was kind of sure of a win but a good start for Pakistan could have made it difficult for us.'' He was lavish in his praise for his pacemen and said they bowl according to the plan.

''We wanted to get as many wickets before the dew factor came into play. But Makhaya (Ntini) and Shaun (Pollack) had been great and got us early breakthrough and the match was over by the 25th over,'' he said.

When reminded that the track for the semi-final in Jaipur would be different from the one in Mohali, he said his side were capable enough to adapt to the change.

''We are a very good side and guys know how to adapt to the situation,'' he said.

Meanwhile Justin Kemp, who alongside mark Boucher revived team's fortunes in today's match, said they both were keen on building partnership.

''We knew one good partnership would see us through and both Boucher and me tried to see off first twenty overs or so and the gelled together to guide team to a challenging total,'' Kemp, who made crucial 64 and added 131 runs for sixth wicket with Boucher, said.


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