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Home > Cricket > World Cup 2003 > Reuters > Report

Big-hitting Blignaut ready for Dutch

February 26, 2003 20:15 IST

Zimbabwe are considering promoting Andy Blignaut up the order for Friday's World Cup match against the Netherlands after the all-rounder's successful assault on Australia's bowlers.

Blignaut blitzed 54 from 28 balls, with eight fours and two sixes, against the world champions in Bulawayo on Monday.

The third-fastest half-century in World Cup history, it was a memorable display of clean, straight hitting but the 24-year-old is keen for more.

"I'm looking to having a knock against anyone at the moment," he said on Wednesday. "It takes just one delivery to get you out, but the Netherlands might give us a few more bad balls than the Australians and their strike bowlers won't be as good.

"They (Australia) landed a few balls in the wrong areas and I managed to get hold of them. It was an innings in which I learned a few things, and I'm happy that there has been progress.

"I'm always working on a few things in my batting -- like trying to hit it further!"

Blignaut was eventually caught and bowled by quick bowler Brett Lee, who needed all his courage to get in the way of a savage return drive.

The Zimbabwean batted at eight against Australia and at number six against India earlier in the tournament. Zimbabwe may be tempted to promote him even further up the order against the Dutch to try and improve their net run-rate.

"I've done it before, so I'm not too worried about that prospect," Blignaut said.

Zimbabwe, fifth in Group A with eight points, need to beat Holland and Pakistan to have a good chance of reaching the Super Six. They were beaten 5-0 by Pakistan in a home limited-overs series at the end of 2002.

Blignaut, though, said the team had found positives in the seven-wicket loss to Australia, including a respectable total of 246 for nine.

"Our performance against Australia was good in some respects, bad in others, but I think it has started some confidence going. Hopefully we'll give Holland as well as Pakistan some stick."

Zimbabwe's training session on Wednesday was interrupted several times by drizzle. Grant Flower said: "It's just like everything else about living in Zim - you queue for fuel, you queue for cooking oil, you queue for milk.

"So perhaps we need to queue for decent weather as well."

© Copyright 2003 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.


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