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South African cricket team has strong showing against Pakistan

February 14, 2013

Since the 2010 World Cup, the nation of South Africa has been out to prove that it has shirked off its checkered past and emerged as a player on the world stage. Nowhere is this more evident than on the Cricket field, where the South African National team has been on a tear of late. The team, colloquially known as the Proteas, is currently in the midst of a series against Pakistan that has seen the South African squad field strong showings in the first of three five-day tests between the two popular clubs.

The matches have proven to be spectacular outings between two teams known for fielding both strong bowlers and batsmen. Yet despite the stellar work put forth by the Pakistani players, the Proteas took the first match by 211 runs. Team captain Graeme Smith believes the team's big win could rattle their opponents, placing them off their game and setting South Africa up to sweep the series.

"If they come into this match with a mindset to leave, they are going to be tentative. That will allow us to create pressure on them and will play into our favor," Smith told the Associated Foreign Press. Despite his confidence, the captain remains careful not to underestimate his opponents, telling the wire service "If there is one team that can bounce back from a performance like that it is Pakistan."

This latest performance has proven that South Africa is a force to be reckoned with in the international cricket circuit. The Proteas have now bowled out three rival teams for under 50 in the past 14 months, something that has earned them distinction as the No. 1 Test team in the world according to the International Cricket Council, and made many potential competitors anxious about facing South Africa in the future.

Smith, who will captain his 100 Test game for South Africa on February 14, believes his team has grown strong over the years, adding that the team is always willing to work for its achievements.

"There is a lot of experience in our top four, an understanding of how to handle conditions, what is the right play at the right time," he told the AFP. "When the game needs to be stepped up, we find that extra bit."

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