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Page last updated at 16:59 GMT, Thursday, 7 January 2010

South Africa couldn't find KO blow, says Graeme Smith


Smith deflated after last-ball thriller

South Africa captain Graeme Smith said his side's agonising failure to beat England in the third Test in Cape Town would take some time to sink in.

For the second time in the series England's last-wicket pair defied the South African attack and they will take a 1-0 lead into the final Test.

"I think it'll probably take a day or two to sum up the way we feel in that dressing room," said Smith.

"We fought hard but we just weren't good enough to throw the final punch."

Smith, who was named Man of the Match after his 183 in the second innings at Newlands, could only watch in frustration as his bowlers narrowly failed to secure victory on Thursday.

At one stage, with Paul Collingwood and Ian Bell set fair, it looked as though England would easily hold out for a draw.


But a late clatter of wickets meant the last wicket pair of Graeme Swann and Graham Onions had to survive 17 balls to maintain England's 1-0 series lead.

In the first Test, at Centurion, Onions had teamed up with Collingwood to hold out for 19 balls to deny South Africa victory, and the England number 11 was once again up to the task at Newlands.

"Credit to Paul Collingwood and Ian Bell for the way they batted," said Smith.

"It was a great Test but we just never had the knockout blow. Our bowlers gave 100% the whole time and hopefully at the Wanderers we can go all the way."

The fourth and final Test of the series takes place in Johannesburg from 14-18 January.

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see also
England escape in thrilling draw
07 Jan 10 |  England
Ball row overshadows England draw
08 Jan 10 |  England
South Africa v England photos
07 Jan 10 |  England
England wrap up emphatic Test win
30 Dec 09 |  England
England scrape draw in first Test
20 Dec 09 |  England
Live cricket on the BBC
26 Oct 11 |  Cricket
England in South Africa 2009-10
17 Jan 10 |  England

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