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Smith Fancies Title Chances


Graeme Smith feels that South Africa have as good a chance as anyone of winning the World Twenty20 Championship after cantering to two wins out of two in Group A.

The Proteas saw off a spirited Bangladesh side by seven wickets at Newlands on Saturday night, dismissing the feisty sub-continentals for 144 and cruising to victory with seven balls to spare.

It wasn't all plain sailing for Smith's men, who have found themselves under pressure from Chris Gayle and the Bangladeshi top order, but the skipper feels that the way his side have handled those situations bodes well for the rest of the tournament.

Asked what he felt South Africa's chances were of lifting the trophy next Monday, Smith replied: "As good as anybody's.

"I think we've played some good cricket in our first two games and I think at times we've been pushed, but we've kept our composure well and kept most things under control so far which has been encouraging for all of us.

"I think we've certainly got a few gears that we can go to in the Super Eights but, I guess we'd already qualified after the West Indies game and now the real tournament begins.

"I think adapting to conditions and adapting a gameplan to the teams you're going to play is key."

Bangladesh came out swinging with the bat and duly found themselves 54 for three after the first four overs, and Smith admitted that the approach had not been easy to counter at first.

"It's always tough when you play against guys who have nothing to lose and that's the way they played tonight," he conceded. "They really took it on in the first four overs.

"But when teams are doing that you've always got a chance of taking wickets and we did that."

Smith had been a slight doubt for the game after receiving a blow to the hand in the tournament's opening game against the West Indies, and the big-hitting batsman felt that he and his side had recovered well.

"I've obviously taken a few painkillers, but I felt alright," he said. "It took a bit of time just to get used to the conditions having spent quite a bit of time in the highveld, so I actually thought we played pretty well tonight.

"We played a lot better than what I expected. I think as a team we were quite clinical tonight."

South Africa now face England at Newlands on Sunday night, with the captain confirming that Herschelle Gibbs is likely to recover from injury in time to take part.

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