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Graeme Smith remains calm

Special Correspondent

Mirpur: South African skipper Graeme Smith refused to under-estimate Daniel Vettori's men ahead of Friday's quarterfinal against New Zealand. “New Zealand has always been a street-smart team and you need to play well to beat them.

“They have top four power batters and in bowling, they tend to take the pace off the ball. They also have Nathan McCullum and Vettori, who can perform well as spinners,” Smith said here on Thursday.

He said his team had been well served equally by its speedsters and spinners. “Both the departments (pace and spin) are becoming our strengths. We don't have just 40 overs of seam now; we can mix it up and we allow guys to attack and that has helped us take 10 wickets in every game so far,” he said.

Smith praised left-arm spinner Robin Peterson (14 wickets in the World Cup) and leg-spinner Imran Tahir for the variety they lend to his attack.

Huge challenge

Smith's counterpart Vettori, who has recovered from a knee injury, termed the match as a contest between teams that are aware of the local conditions.

Vettori said New Zealand would ideally like to replicate the template that was followed while defeating Pakistan by 110 runs earlier this month.

“Probably we can look back at the Pakistan game. That really is the model to win one-day games. We have to build up those partnerships and then let our explosive guys take on and that coupled with the kind of fielding and bowling we have would definitely give us a chance,” he said.

The skipper said the team had largely overcome its injury woes and was all set for the key match.

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