Smith remains confident

South African skipper Graeme Smith insisted his side still remained confident despite the seven wicket loss to Australia inside three-days in the First Test in Cape Town.

The hosts were dismissed for totals of 205 and 197 with Jacques Rudolph's 41 the highest score and only one partnership over 50. Despite these poor figures, the Proteas' captain believes they can still win the best-of-three Test series

"We've built up a lot confidence and one bad performance isn't going to dent that," said Smith to the BBC.

"We just need to look for one or two bigger partnerships. We've certainly got the batters capable of doing it."

"We know Australia is the number one team in the world but the exciting thing for us is we know we are getting closer and closer to beating them."

"I think (setting them) something around 200, 250 would have been great but credit to Australia, they performed well - they bowled well up front and congratulations to Stuart Clark, who led their attack on debut," Smith commented.

"It was a game dominated by the ball and mostly by our bowlers," responded Australian captain Ricky Ponting.

Man of the match Stuart Clark took the third best figures for an Australian bowler on debut claiming 9-89 to skittle the South African batting line-up.

"All I can say is that we handled conditions a lot better than they did," said Ponting.

Smith said he expects the pitches in the next two Tests to be equally difficult due to the matches being played later in the South African season than usual.

The Proteas are expected to be strengthened by the return of strike bowler Shaun Pollock for the upcoming Tests in Durban and Johannesburg.

"He was pretty close to playing this game, so I'm pretty sure he'll be available in Durban," said Smith.

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