Ruthless Proteas please Smith

Updated: 08 June 2009 08:56 IST

South Africa captain Graeme Smith said his side had "sent a message" after their crushing 130-run win over Scotland at the ICC World Twenty20.

Ruthless Proteas please Smith

London:

South Africa captain Graeme Smith said his side had "sent a message" after their crushing 130-run win over Scotland at the ICC World Twenty20.

Victory in their first match of the tournament saw the Proteas into the second round Super Eights and provided a textbook display of how a Test side ought to deal with one of the minnow nations at this event.

The tournament began in dramatic style on Friday with hosts England losing off the last ball to the Netherlands at Lord's while on Saturday saw Scotland give New Zealand a scare in a match reduced by rain to seven overs per side.

But led by AB de Villiers's blistering 79 not out, featuring six sixes, South Africa piled up a huge total of 211 for five here at the Oval.

Fast bowler Dale Steyn then struck early on and when Scotland were bowled out for 81 they'd suffered the second heaviest defeat suffered by any side in a Twenty20 international - Sri Lanka beat Kenya by 172 runs during the inaugural World Twenty20 in Johannesburg two years ago.

"We probably had a few more nerves after watching the first few days of the tournament and seeing a few of the unpredictable results," said Smith, who shared a first-wicket stand of 87 with Jacques Kallis.

"It was important to send a message and we did that."

Scotland captain Gavin Hamilton admitted his largely part-time team had been given some object lessons, especially by the Proteas' batsmen.

"They are an absolutely fantastic outfit," ex-England all-rounder Hamilton said. "They didn't give any breathing space at all. It is a reality check.

"The clean striking of the ball was just outstanding. You don't really appreciate it until you are in that fielding ring listening to the sound off the bat."

Defeat saw Scotland - who failed this year to qualify for the 2011 World Cup in Asia - bow out of the tournament.

Hamilton, who said a national academy ought to be providing younger players for the Scotland side, admitted there was a danger of an unbridgeable gap opening up.

"We've had eight days together and we are playing against the world's best cricket teams but unless we chug along behind them we will get left behind," Hamilton said.

South Africa are likely to face a far sterner test from New Zealand at Lord's on Tuesday and said: "We've played against New Zealand enough to know they are tough competitiors, and on their dat they can challenge and beat anybody. We will respect them as we would any opponent."

He added: "The big focus for us is playing to our intensity, and playing our game. If we can do that, we can challenge any team in this tournament."

"We have got good players in both areas," said Smith. "It is about finding a balance between the touch players and the power players."



Topics : Cricket South Africa
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