The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Close to my worst day as skipper: Smith

Faisalabad: South Africa captain Graeme Smith fired a broadside at his team after Pakistan dominated the first day of the second Test on Friday.

“It is close to my worst day I as a captain. Our performance was crap,” Smith said after South Africa, 0-1 down in the two-Test series, struggled to 256 for nine.

“It has been a tough tour for me as captain. Every day there has been something new happening. Motivation has been a factor. But we were under pressure all the time today.”

The 22-year-old, who took over as captain this year after South Africa’s dismal World Cup and who was dismissed for two on Friday, added: “We all know we have had a bad day and there is no use moping over it.

“Maybe they were tense and anxious. But today we were not good enough we will come out with a changed attitude. The pitch had bounce and was helpful to the bowlers and they took advantage of it.”

Herschelle Gibbs was the one batsman at his best as he made 98.

Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq said his side had been hammered by injury and illness concerns. Allrounder Shoaib Malik strained an abdominal muscle after bowling five overs of off- spin while leg spinner Danish Kaneria and allrounder Abdul Razzaq both had temperatures.

“They have flu and it is getting worse. They have been put on antibiotics and hopefully they’ll be much better when we bowl again,” Inzamam said.

“We are hoping that Malik recovers in time to bowl in the second innings but we will only know tomorrow.”

Batsman Asim Kamal went for an elbow X-Ray after being hit by a shot by Neil McKenzie while fielding at forward short leg but Inzamam said there was no fracture.

He went on: “We decided not to let them score freely and keep things tight. They tried to play shots to disturb the fielders. It didn’t work for them.”

Quick bowler Shabbir Ahmed, who took four for 63, said: “I enjoyed the wicket of Smith the most as he came here after scoring double hundreds in England.” (Reuters)

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