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Home > Cricket > The Cup > Reuters > Report

Kiwis eye World Cup semi-final spot

Telford Vice | April 14, 2007 13:29 IST

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New Zealand, who are within touching distance of reaching their fifth World Cup semi-final, will pit their versatility against South Africa's discipline in their Super Eights match on Saturday.

Both sides are contenders for a place in the last four but whereas South Africa have banked on sound execution of basic skills, New Zealand are recognised as one of the more innovative teams.

"It's a matter of your adaptability," New Zealand coach John Bracewell, whose side will secure a semi-final berth if they beat South Africa, told a news conference on Friday.

"We have got the flexibility within our side to cope with winning and losing the toss that some other teams haven't.

"With the balance between spinners, medium pacers, cutters and genuine pace we have more flexibility and the depth of batting to lessen the odds on winning the toss."

South African captain Graeme Smith also felt the New Zealanders had many alternatives to chose from.

"They're a good team, they're a well-balanced team, and they've got a lot of options in their set-up," Smith said.

"(New Zealand captain) Stephen (Fleming) has options with his bowlers, and they bat a long way down."

New Zealand's run of nine consecutive one-day wins was ended when they lost to Sri Lanka on Thursday.

Smith, whose side have already lost to Australia and Bangladesh in the tournament, was wary that his team may feel the brunt of New Zealand's determination to bounce back.

"They were put under pressure for the first time in the tournament by Sri Lanka," Smith said.

"They've had a tough game and often that just shows you what you need to do and the level you need to perform at."

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