Smith - We did it for Bouch

Proteas skipper hails influence of retired wicket-keeper

Last Updated: 21/08/12 6:26am

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Graeme Smith: Was quick to acknowledge Mark Boucher after victory at Lord's

Graeme Smith: Was quick to acknowledge Mark Boucher after victory at Lord's

Sky Bet

South Africa captain Graeme Smith was quick to dedicate his side's series victory over England to former wicket-keeper Mark Boucher.

The tourists wrapped up a deserved 2-0 success with a 51-run win at Lord's which saw them leapfrog opponents England and become the number one ranked Test side in the world.

Previously a stalwart of the side, Boucher was forced in to international retirement on the eve of the series when he suffered a serious eye injury in a warm-up match at Somerset.

He was watching on television, though, and Smith, wearing a shirt which read 'we miss you Bouch' said: "This is a message from all of us. He's been part of us for 147 games and this was meant to be his 150th. This victory was for him and for everything he has done for us."

On the game itself, Smith added: "It was a top Test, both teams played well, England played with freedom and we had to work hard.

"There was some great batting from Swann and Prior but it was wonderful to come through.

Belief

"We stayed with the belief, you do have nervous moments but you have to stay focused and make sure if they do something, it's something spectacular.

"We were able to post totals and build partnerships and get scores that allowed us to bowl with freedom."

Hashim Amla was voted the South Africans' player of the series by England coach Andy Flower following his triple-century at the Oval and a knock of 121 at Lord's.

He added: "It was a close game and fortunately we had the runs on the board and Vernon (Philander) bowled well.

"Moments like this make cricket what it is. It was a great advert for Test cricket and a fantastic day for us."

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