Smith 'extremely disappointed' after Abu Dhabi defeat

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Captain Graeme Smith admitted to being "extremely disappointed", after South Africa slumped to a seven-wicket defeat at the hands of Pakistan on day four of the first Test at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium.

Captain Graeme Smith admitted to being "extremely disappointed", after South Africa slumped to a seven-wicket defeat at the hands of Pakistan on day four of the first Test at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium.

The Proteas collapsed to a mere 249 all out in the first innings, with Pakistan's strong response amounting to 442 all out on the back of outstanding centuries from opener Khurram Manzoor and skipper Misbah-ul-Haq.

Spinner Saeed Ajmal's second-innings four-for later reduced the visitors to just 232 all out. Pakistan's pursuit of a modest 40-run target, in turn, endured three early wickets – before Misbah's towering six off the bowling of all-rounder Robin Peterson sealed triumph shortly after the teak break.

"We have set really high standards for ourselves, but credit goes to Misbah and his boys, right from session one, they have been ahead in the game and played better cricket. Even though we showed good character in parts, our skills were not up to the mark," said Smith.

"The first morning was a tough time to bat, but we still got into ourselves into good position in the first innings, but then we fell apart a bit. Only posting 249 puts you under pressure. Our bowlers weren't that bad, but we were certainly not up to the standards we set for ourselves."

Batsman Hashim Amla, whose standalone century in Abu Dhabi offered the Proteas some consolation, is in doubt for the second Test, which will get underway at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Wednesday. Amla will soon return to South Africa for the birth of his child, with the left-handed Dean Elgar a likely replacement.

"We have to look at our ability to bounce back and have to improve on a few things and see how we can be more effective, and hopefully make the right decisions. Hashim is the best batsman in the world at the moment, the birth of his child is a big moment for him, and I wish him and his wife best of luck," concluded Smith.

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