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Am very hopeful about winning next three matches: Smith

Dhaka: After registering a comprehensive victory over Bangladesh in their last Group B match on Saturday, South Africa captain Graeme Smith said he is hopeful that his team will go all the way in the World Cup.

"I am very hopeful about winning the next three matches, that`s what we have to do," said Smith after thrashing Bangladesh by 206 runs to top Group B with five wins in six matches.

Going into the quarterfinals stage of the World Cup, Smith said South Africa have successfully met all the challenges so far in the tournament.

"All the teams going to the knock-out phase want to win the World Cup. We have so far met each challenge because each game we played had different degrees of pressure."

After piling up 284 for eight from their 50 overs, South Africa bundled out Bangladesh for a paltry 78 in a one-sided contest.

Lonwabo Tsotsobe, on his World Cup debut, ran through the top-order by picking up Tamim Iqbal (5), Imrul Kayes(4) and Shahriar Nafees (5) to trigger collapse after three half-centuries from Hashim Amla (51), Jacques Kallis (69) and Francois du Plessis (52) helped Proteas post a challenging total on a slow, sluggish wicket.

Left-arm spinner Robin Peterson (4-12) and Tsotsobe (3-14), who were included in the eleven only because Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel were rested for the game, wreaked havoc.

Smith expressed satisfaction that Tsotsobe made maximum use of the opportunity he got.

"It is always difficult to leave him out. The guys who came in today played so well. The selection is based on the team we play and the pitch we play on.”

"The whole squad is together and if we stand with the trophy at the end of the day, it is all of us being part of something special," said Smith.

Smith (45) and Hashim Amla (51) put up 98-run stand for the opening wicket, while Kallis and du Plessis piled on 82 runs together for the fourth to lay a solid platform for the lower order batsmen, who in turn smashed 92 runs in the last 10 overs.

"I thought 250 would have been a good total on this surface and with wickets in hand in the powerplay, we managed to get better," said Smith.

Smith hoped that South Africa play their quarterfinal match at the same venue where they have won their last three ODIs.

"Hopefully our match will be here in Dhaka, it looks like we are luckier here," said Smith.

"But we will prepare for it the same way we have prepared for each game we have played so far," he added.

On the Bangladeshi team, Smith said they needed to be more consistent.

"Bangladesh are a bit unpredictable at the moment with their results. I think the challenge for Bangladesh cricket is to play consistently. They need to find ways to create that consistency," said Smith.

PTI

From Zee News

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