Graeme Smith back in the groove
Graeme Smith re-found his batting confidence with a timely century that set up South Africa in the second Test against West Indies. Smith suffered a broken finger during the IPL in March and has had to fight to regain faith in his stroke-play, something he achieved with his 21st hundred as his side reached 296 for 3.
Smith posted 132, becoming the third South African to pass 7000 Test runs, before being bowled by Kemar Roach and was pleased with the performance. "Confidence is a crucial thing in this game, and I have been working hard through the limited-overs matches, following the lengthy break I had with a broken finger," Smith said.
"It has taken me some time to get the feel back in the game, even though it still hinders me a little bit, but it's had some ice now. It feels much better now that I have got some big runs on the board." Smith broke the middle finger of his right hand taking a catch while playing with Rajasthan.
Jacques Kallis finished the day unbeaten on 45 after moving into sixth place on the Test run-scoring list, having gone ahead of Steve Waugh's haul of 10,927. Alviro Petersen (52) and Hashim Amla (44) also made useful contributions to strengthen South Africa's position.
"That was the key for us, to start this Test match well and not to fall into a complacent mindset at the back-end of the tour," Smith said. "We have done this, and set up a good first day for us, and hopefully [on Saturday] we can build on it."