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West Indies must bounce back fast
Telford Vice | March 29, 2007 15:33 IST
Brian Lara's team were beaten by 103 runs on Wednesday -- after the match spilled over into a reserve day because of rain -- the first match of their second stage campaign. West Indies were bowled out for 219 replying to 322.
Whereas Australia now sit pretty with four points after bringing two through from the group stages, West Indies just have the two they earned from their win over group rivals Ireland.
The main problem for West Indies, apart from raising morale after a crushing defeat, is fatigue having gone halfway into the reserve day.
Captain Lara has, meanwhile, backed his top order despite their disappointing performance against Australia.
"I still have a lot of confidence in the guys up there, (Shivnarine) Chanderpaul got a hundred in our last game, Chris Gayle is an outstanding batsman," he told reporters.
"(Ramnaresh) Sarwan has been our top player in one-day games in the last couple of years and Marlon Samuels has been coming to the fore.
"One game is not going to change things but of course we are going to discuss it. I still have confidence in the top four to do the job that is required, though," said the West Indies skipper.
New Zealand, yet to reach a World Cup final but looking good after topping Group C, will be only too happy to add to the pressure already on the tournament hosts.
Stephen Fleming's New Zealand team, like West Indies, won all their group matches, including an opening victory over England, but have been hit by a string of injuries which has necessitated flying in two replacements.
One of them, Hamish Marshall, is expected to bat at number three on Thursday after opener Lou Vincent was forced to pull out of the World Cup with a broken wrist.
Both teams are looking to finish in the top four of the Super Eights and qualify for the semi-finals, before the final in Barbados on April 28.
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