powered by

16 March 201118:37

Smith confident after reaching last eight

South Africa's skipper Graeme Smith praises his middle-order batsmen

Smith confident after reaching last eight - Cricket News

Graeme Smith of South Africa smiles with the players during a Proteas nets session.

South African skipper Graeme Smith praised his middle-order batsmen and a solid bowling performance as the Proteas became the first team from Group B to reach the World Cup quarter-finals Tuesday.

The Proteas, who batted first, were wobbling at 117-5 but JP Duminy's robust 99 took them to 272-7 in the day-night match at Eden Gardens before they bowled Ireland out for 141 to win by 131 runs.

"There were some good signs. When you look at the positives, we put ourselves under pressure with some stupid run-outs," said Smith, who praised Duminy and Colin Ingram (46) for getting the innings back on track.

"It was a good bowling performance also. Obviously we would like to hold on to all of our chances but I think all in all it was a positive day for us," Smith added.

"We wanted to qualify. We know now we've got one round robin game left against Bangladesh and hopefully three good games in the knockout phase. We've done the first part of it and we're excited."

Irish skipper William Porterfield said his side had made a good start.

"We got a couple of wickets up front. We thought it was important to get wickets to peg them back and I thought we did that pretty much throughout," he said.

"We were happy enough at half-time with chasing 270. It was not out of our reach but we consistently lost wickets."

Porterfield said he was happy overall with his side's efforts at the World Cup in which they have lost four games but famously beat England.

"A lot of the games we've been right in there. They've come down to the last 10 overs or so. We keep putting ourselves in winning positions which is something we're going to take from this tournament."

"Obviously today we kept losing wickets and we were always behind t