Success in Pakistan a huge step forward, says Smith

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LAHORE, Oct 30 (Reuters) Skipper Graeme Smith said his team's test and one-day series wins in Pakistan could mark a huge step forward for South African cricket.

The Proteas clinched a double after an exciting 14-run win in the fifth one-dayer in Lahore on Monday helped them wrap up the series 3-2 after winning the preceding two-test series 1-0.

''It is a fabulous achievement for us and a huge stepping stone,'' he told reporters at the end of the tour.

''After the World Cup people questioned our ability to play in these conditions,'' he said. ''This series win is a big step forward for South African cricket.

''It is always a big challenge touring Pakistan for any team because of the lot of stuff that comes with it. Coming and playing in conditions you are not accustomed too is tough.'' South Africa won their first test in Karachi but the final one-dayer was shifted out of the troubled southern city after a suspected suicide bomber struck at a rally of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto on October 18, killing some 140 people.

South Africa host New Zealand and West Indies next and tour England in July.

''They are a few tactical things we need to look at but I don't remember the last time we won two trophies in the sub-continent,'' Smith said.

''We've started the season well and cleared the first major hurdle so taking this confidence into the rest of our season is very important.'' REUTERS TB DS1155

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