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Bang v SA, Group A, ICC World Twenty20
Daryll Cullinan: Smith leads from the front
September 15, 2007
Daryll Cullinan looks back on the two games on day five of the ICC World Twenty20
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Daryll Cullinan: "Graeme Smith is a tough guy to bowl to and the South African batting line-up feed off him" © AFP

Anand Vasu: I have with me Daryll Cullinan to talk us through the South Africa-Bangladesh match and also Sri Lanka's comprehensive defeat of New Zealand.

Daryll, South Africa got a chance to give some of their batsmen a go today. Graeme Smith is a pretty big force in this form of the game, isn't he with all his experience at Twenty20 with Somerset?

Daryll Cullinan: Correct, he is a vastly experienced cricketer in all formats of the game and he is a critical player for South Africa - he leads from the front. When he plays well, South Africa play well. He is a very tough guy to bowl to and the whole South African batting line-up generally feed off him.

AV: Shaun Pollock again went for a few. Is that perhaps a case for South Africa trying to mix things up a bit, perhaps get a bit of variety in their bowling?

DC: Well, it's always been a contentious issue of late. Pollock's accuracy, though, is unquestionable, but he is at that sort of stage, where he is bowling at that sort of pace were batsmen can get on to him. I think that is going to be of concern for South Africa, because he is being picked off too regularly.

AV: Moving on, there is a big England game tomorrow for South Africa. I know the English are smarting a bit over the recent rugby result. Another chance to go one-up on England?

DC: That would make a fantastic weekend, but, as we have already seen in this Twenty20 World Cup, one has to be cautious about making any sort of predictions. You've got to look to bat second, because batting first you don't know what is an ideal score; and you can pace your innings a lot better batting second. If South Africa are in that position against a side like England, they have just got too much batting depth - they have five or six guys in their line-up that can take an attack apart and might hold an advantage in that regard. On the bowling front I think it is much similar, but I think it will come down to batting and fielding tomorrow evening.

AV: Speaking about the fielding, let's just cast our eye to the other game that happened today - Sri Lanka were pretty sharp on the field and not too bad with the bat either; they have got a good combination of well-drilled cricketers and some flair as well, don't they?

DC: They are a dangerous side, as we saw in the World Cup [in the West Indies], and to go with that they have got genuine self-belief that they can match anybody on their day.

Fielding for me is a massive component of this format of the game. Having played and watched it now in South Africa, I am all for a scenario for fielding substitutions - get the best fielders on the ground.

Considering all this, I think Sri Lanka are probably the best side out there - because they are quick, they have got pace and they bat all the way down.

AV: Darryl Cullinan thank you very much for speaking with us. This is Anand Vasu for Cricinfo Talk.

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