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Home > Cricket > The Cup > Reuters > Report

England banking on more help from Oval pitch

Mark Meadows | April 11, 2007 11:46 IST

England batsman Ian Bell, who celebrates his 25th birthday on Wednesday, is banking on the Kensington Oval pitch giving his side's bowlers a boost for their must-win World Cup clash with Bangladesh.

Bell said the team were hoping for better conditions in Bridgetown where Bangladesh will be chasing a third shock scalp after beating India and South Africa.

"We're certainly not going to underestimate them by any means.

"Hopefully, this pitch here will help us a bit more because we believe there will be a bit more pace and bounce for our bowlers," Bell, who hit 77 in England's seven-wicket loss to Australia in Antigua on Sunday, told reporters.

England's bowling has been inconsistent all tournament with pacemen James Anderson and Sajid Mahmood struggling on the flat, slow pitches.


The revamped Oval will be staging the World Cup final on April 28. This is the first match at the seven-week tournament to be played there.

England, who have already lost to New Zealand, Sri Lanka and Australia, must beat Bangladesh and then defeat South Africa and West Indies to maintain a good chance of progressing to the semi-finals.

Bell said the side had shown they were capable of managing such a tough task by winning four games in a row to defeat Australia in February's tri-series final.

"It's a similar situation to the one we were in during the series in Australia," the newly created opener told reporters.

"Now we've got to win every game and every game is a final. I think as a team it's good that we can break it down now to what we need to do."

"I guess it helps that we've been through this before quite recently and probably helps the team that we didn't get too sidetracked on things that were going on further ahead."

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