Hamilton stunned by Proteas
Graeme Smith, AB de Villiers and Gavin Hamilton spoke to the media after South Africa's win
Scotland captain Gavin Hamilton hailed the ball-striking ability of South Africa after his side were comprehensively beaten in the ICC World Twenty20 at The Oval, bowing out of competition at the same time.
The Proteas racked up nine sixes in registering the tournament’s top score to date, a monstrous 211 for five and Scotland were always up against it, eventually being bowled out for 81, suffering a 130-run defeat - the second largest in the history of Twenty20 internationals.
“They are an absolutely fantastic outfit,” said Hamilton. “They didn’t give any breathing space at all. It is a reality check.
“The clean striking of the ball was just outstanding. You don’t really appreciate it until you are in that fielding ring listening to the sound off the bat.”
The margin of defeat would have been greater but for an enterprising 42, from 32 balls, by Aberdeen-born Kyle Coetzer.
Durham’s Coetzer has been impressive in higher company, having cracked a quickfire 33 against New Zealand yesterday, and has the temperament to move up a level, according to Hamilton.
“He quite clearly wants to play for England,” Hamilton emphasised. “You can’t take that away from him, those are the aspirations of every county cricketer and he is still young enough to do it.
“He is an impressive guy. Full Stop. The way he handles himself, how professional he is.
“He just goes about the sport in the right way and I would be astounded if he doesn’t go on to bigger things.”
Coetzer’s aggressive innings followed a spectacular one-handed grab over his head at long-on to dismiss Mark Boucher.
“The outstanding catches are few and far between and that is certainly one of them,” said Hamilton. “The technique which he showed to stay inside the boundary was something special.”
While Coetzer returns to county action, however, the majority of his colleagues will be released into their nine-to-five environments.
“Our guys are going back to work tomorrow,” Hamilton said. “That’s the reality of it.”
South Africa face New Zealand on Tuesday to determine Group D bragging rights and Smith is pleased with how his well-fancied side dispatched the associate country.
“Today was about controlling a few early tournament nerves, coming out, and playing at our intensity,” Smith said. “I am very happy we did that.
“We probably had a few more nerves after watching the first few days of the tournament and seeing a few of the unpredictable results. It was important to send a message and we did that.”
Openers Smith and Jacques Kallis laid the platform with a stand of 87 inside 10 overs, while the Proteas highlighted their brute strength with 83 from the final five.
“We have got good players in both areas,” said Smith. “It is about finding a balance between the touch players and the power players.
“The Oval is a fast-scoring ground and if you get in you can really take the game away from the opposition.”