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Home > Cricket > The Cup > Reuters > Report


SA, NZ remain wary of shocks

Mark Meadows | March 20, 2007 18:24 IST

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South Africa and New Zealand seem destined for the Super Eights but they are taking nothing for granted against outsiders Scotland and Kenya on Tuesday.

Saturday's shock wins by Bangladesh and Ireland over India and Pakistan respectively have turned the form book upside down, while New Zealand are still smarting from their defeat by Bangladesh in the warm-ups.

"The upsets have kept every one of the top teams on their toes," South Africa captain Graeme Smith said.

"It just shows that if you're not up for it, and if you don't perform to your levels, you can put yourself under pressure."

Smith also said his team would make their Group A match against Scotland in St Kitts a tribute to Bob Woolmer.

Pakistan coach Woolmer, formerly in charge of South Africa, died in Jamaica on Sunday.

"We were all pretty shocked when we found out," he said.

"A lot of us knew Bob pretty well and there's a huge sadness among the guys."

South Africans will be seeking a repeat performance of Friday's demolition of the Netherlands, when they won by a national record 221 runs and Herschelle Gibbs hit six sixes in an over.

They have to keep up the intensity ahead of the final group match with world champions Australia on Saturday. With both teams set to qualify for the Super Eights, the winner of that game will take two points into the next stage.

New Zealand have a similar situation in their Group C game with 2003 semi-finalists Kenya in St Lucia.

Despite beating England by six wickets on Friday, the Black Caps need to defeat Kenya to make sure of two Super Eight points because the improving Africans could also qualify with a win over England on Saturday.

"We've got two points to carry through should England qualify," New Zealand coach John Bracewell told reporters.

"That's the importance of the Kenyan match. We have to win that just in case it's Kenya who qualify because they are the other team with two points in the bag."

Bracewell has hinted he will rotate his squad for the match but fast bowler Mark Gillespie is not expected to be fit as he continues to recover from a numb shoulder. 

The seven-week World Cup culminates in the Barbados final on April 28.

(Additional reporting by Telford Vice in Basseterre, St. Kitts)


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