AB played incredibly well: Smith

Written by: Pti
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New Delhi, Feb 24 (PTI) South Africa captain Graeme Smithwas a happy man after his side registered a comprehensive winover West Indies in their opening match of the World Cup heretoday and praised AB de Villiers for his stellar performancewith the bat.

After restricting West Indies to 222, South Africa,riding on De Villiers'' unbeaten 105-ball 107, overhauled thetarget with seven wickets in hand in 42,5 overs.

"Winning the toss was nice and we started off reasonablywell. I am very very happy with the performance," Smith saidafter the match.

Even though he scored 45, his stay at the crease was astruggle and Smith admitted that he wasn''t at his fluent besttoday and was just trying to give De Villiers company, who wasgoing all guns blazing at the other end.

"My batting wasn''t the best. I have been a little illcoming into the game, so I just wanted to bat through with AB(de Villiers) and build a partnership. AB went faster than runa ball and paced it real well. He played incredibly well. Hecontrolled the innings superbly," Smith said.

Smith also praised his bowlers for restricting the WestIndies to the modest score after they were comfortably placedat 113 for two at one stage.

"Darren Bravo played really well, but we managed to pegit back in the middle. We tried to mix it up in the middle.

Once you pick a wicket, you can build pressure and we managedto pick up wickets in clusters," he said.

His West Indian counterpart Darren Sammy praised youngDarren Bravo for his superb 73 that came off 82 balls but saidthey needed a batsmen to bat till the end.

"We had an opportunity to get a lot more runs. We neededsomeone to play like AB did for South Africa. But there were afew positives from the match. Darren Bravo played really welland we hope he can continue. We kept losing wickets inclusters, and it did not help," he said.

West Indies were also done in by an injury to all-rounderDwayne Bravo, who hurt his knee while bowling and had to becarried off the field.

Bravo is expected to undergo a scan tomorrow after whichit will be known whether he will be taking further part in thetournament or not.

"Losing Dwayne was not good for us. We don''t know theextent of the injury yet. Hopefully he''ll be ok," Sammy said.

Man-of-the-match De Villiers, who played for DelhiDaredevils in the first three editions of the Indian PremierLeague, said his experience of playing at the Feroze ShahKotla helped South Africa in today''s match.

"It (prior IPL experience in Delhi) helped a bit. It wasmy advice to bat second, and that worked for us tonight."

De Villiers also lauded Pakistan-born South Africanleg-spinner Imran Tahir (4/41) for his impressive debut.

"I wasn''t timing it in the nets last week, but it cameoff well tonight. He (Tahir) is an amazing talent and it''sgreat to have him in the side," he said.

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