Smith hails 'terrific result' for South Africa
Graeme Smith has praised his men for completing a clean sweep against West Indies with their one-wicket win in Trinidad. South Africa were coming off a disappointing exit in the Super Eights at the World Twenty20 and Smith was pleased with the way they turned their form around to ensure a 5-0 result.
"It's terrific to have achieved this result, and bounce back from the failure at the Twenty20 World Cup," Smith said. "It was an important time for us as a group of people, and it was important for us to regain the faith of a lot of the public back home. I think a lot of the fans back home in South Africa support us through thick and thin, so it is nice to give them all something about which to feel good."
The fifth game almost didn't go South Africa's way, and they needed 17 from the final two overs with two wickets in hand to chase down West Indies' 252. The last pair, Roelof van der Merwe and Lonwabo Tsotsobe, held their nerve in the 50th over to confirm the victory with two balls to spare.
"The last few games have been too close for comfort," Smith said. "We have chased on some pretty flat pitches, and West Indies have controlled the games at different times, and we have lost wickets at crucial times. But we have held our nerve. Winning is a habit, and when you get into tight games, and you are used to winning, you are able to limp over the line."
Chris Gayle, the West Indies captain, was hoping his men could put the one-dayers in the past and focus on the upcoming Test series. He said his side had struggled in the key moments against South Africa.
"We seem to be in a bad habit of losing, and when it comes down to these tight situations in matches, we do not know how to handle ourselves," Gayle said. "It's been tough losing this much. The good thing is we have a few days off to put this behind us, and hopefully, we can get a fresh start in the Test series."