Glad that gut feeling on spin worked: Smith

Last Updated: Feb 25, 2011, 14:20 PM IST

New Delhi: South African skipper Graeme Smith said his gut feeling of going in with a three-pronged spin attack paid off against the West Indies and he plans to keep trusting his intuition in the coming matches of the World Cup as well.

"I think I trusted my gut feel today and it seemed to work out," Smith said after a comprehensive seven-wicket win over the Caribbeans at the Ferozeshah Kotla Stadium here last night.

"If you can be one step ahead it`s always a bonus but sometimes you`ll do things and they won`t work out and you`ll be asking why. Today was a good day," he added.

Debutant leg-spinner Imran Tahir grabbed 4/41, while off-spinner Johan Botha grabbed 2/48 to play instrumental roles in South Africa`s win.

Smith lavished praise on Pakistan-born Tahir, saying, "He bowled really well. We tried to use him in short spells and obviously tried to get the timing right for when we used him. I think that was good. He responded superbly well.”

"He picked up key wickets for us. Every time he came on he made an impact for us so that was terrific. I think the guys bowled really well around him and created good pressure for him," he said.

"Sometimes when you come up with things and they work out it`s a great feeling. They don`t always do that but today it was one of those days," he added.

The South African pace attack was equally effective with spearhead Dale Steyn picking up 3-24 and Smith said, "One of the advantages of having a lot of spin options also is that when we do use Dale he can come in and make a really big impact for us. His pace was really up today again."

Another man who made an impact was hard-hitter A B de Villiers, who scored 107 not out and ensured that Proteas did not have much trouble chasing the target of 222.

Smith said the destructive batsman seemed in fine touch and would be expected to carry it foward in the tournament.

"He hit the ball sweetly and he probably made the wicket look a lot easier than everyone else did so it was a great knock and I just tried to hang in there with him and it was great to watch from the other end."

Smith said South Africa`s bowling plans could change for the next mtch against the Netherlands depending on the track in Mohali, where the match is scheduled on March 3.

"We`ll move on to Holland and we`ll assess the Mohali wicket and the team we`re up against and just take eight days to think about that now, so that`s a good time."

On the Kotla pitch, Smith said "the ground staff have made a hell of an effort. It was a fair game and I think the pitch was good."

Asked what he told AB de Villiers when he came in to bat with South Africa in a precarious position, Smith said, "I just told him that we have to hang around and build a partnership. But he came and took the game away from them."

PTI