South Africa captain Graeme Smith hailed his bowlers after they propelled the Proteas to a series-clinching 67-run victory over West Indies in the third one-day international in Roseau.
AB de Villiers was the mainstay of the South Africa innings with 70 as the tourists posted a respectable but gettable 224 at Windsor Park despite losing their last five wickets for only 18 runs.
However, it proved a more than sufficient total as the hosts crumbled to 157 all out to suffer a third straight loss in the five-match series.
Morne Morkel finished with career-best ODI figures of four for 21 for South Africa while Charl Langeveldt claimed three for 30.
Smith told Sky Sports 4: “We knew the wicket had a bit in it for the ball, especially if you hit the deck hard. We knew we could get some stuff out of it.
“We felt we had let ourselves down with some poor cricket today, especially in the last 20 overs – a bit of awareness levels and making bad decisions under pressure.
“I think the bowlers must take the credit today. They bowled really well. They bowled with real aggression, intensity and today it’s their win.
“We spoke in the meeting yesterday about being more aggressive with the ball, in particular to a few of the players in the West Indies line-up.
“Today’s surface allowed us to do that, especially once the ball got older. It got two-paced when you hit the deck hard – one would go through and one would stop. It allowed us to use it effectively. Credit to the guys – they took it on board and it worked for us.”
The teams will be back in Roseau for the fourth ODI on Sunday and the series concludes on Thursday in Trinidad before the three-Test series gets under way next month.
“It’s fantastic to have won the first three games of the series and to be leading it 3-0,” Smith added. “Series wins are always important and we needed to bounce back and we did that so far.”
De Villiers, man of the match for his knock, also took three catches behind the stumps – the role of wicketkeeper having been handed to him rather than Mark Boucher with one eye on next year’s World Cup in the sub-continent.
“It’s important for the team for me to keep at the moment and that’s what I’ll do,” he said. “I’m enjoying it at the moment.
“Bouch is a great team man, always there to give a helping hand. He’s helped me quite a lot with the keeping.”
West Indies captain Chris Gayle was understandably dismayed with the result and the early series loss.
“Coming after that big effort in the last game, it was a big disappointment for us today,” he admitted.
“We started well – restricting them to 225 was a good total. We didn’t get it in the end, so another disappointment but we still have another two games to play and we’re going to keep working hard at it.
“There are two more games and we’re going to be positive. We still have a job to do so we’re going to do it to the best of our ability.”
Source: SportingLife – May 28, 2010