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Home > Cricket > The Cup > Reuters > Report

Semi spot at stake for England and South Africa

Simon Evans | April 17, 2007 11:13 IST

South Africa and England face off at the Kensington Oval later on Tuesday with the last place in the World Cup semi-finals at stake.

With Australia, New Zealand and Sri Lanka already through to the final four, the Super Eights meeting almost amounts to a knockout game to reach the remaining semi-final spot.

South Africa will qualify with a victory while an England win would mean they could afford to lose to West Indies in their final match as long as their net run rate remains better than Brian Lara's side and the South Africans.

"It is a massive game potentially, if we win it, we could be in the World Cup semi-finals for the first time since 1992 and I sense an excitement around the team," said England captain Michael Vaughan.

"There is an enjoyment factor knowing that the challenge is a massive should be a great spectacle for everyone," he added.

England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff, who needs a big score to turn around his poor showings at the World Cup, will play despite suffering from a persistent chest infection.

Batsman Andrew Strauss is also set to be included in an unchanged England lineup after recovering from a bruised left leg sustained playing volleyball.

South Africa batsman Herschelle Gibbs has shaken off a calf injury and will be fit to take his hard-hitting batting into what should be a passionate contest at the venue for the April 28 final.

Thousands of England fans are expected at the game and with plenty of local interest and no shortage of supporters from other countries in the Barbadian capital a lively atmosphere is hoped for.

The wicket at the Oval has been the quickest and liveliest of all those used at the World Cup with plenty of bounce and carry for quick bowlers early on.

England hold the advantage as they beat Bangladesh at the venue but South Africa have yet to play in Bridgetown.

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