Kass Naidoo

Proteas eye Guyana treble

2007-04-04 10:41

Kass Naidoo

Two points in the bag and the Proteas will be relieved that the Irish threat is a thing of the past.

So, just what did the Proteas get out of their Cricket World Cup Super Eights win against Ireland last night?

A couple of things.

Firstly that Shaun Pollock seems to have regained some bowling confidence, Jacques Kallis again showed his class as he continues to silence his critics, and Ashwell Prince displayed his ability to force the pace, if needed.

Critics will indicate that good form against Ireland shouldn't be lauded too soon, if it can't be translated into good form against the top teams too.

South Africa will see it as two points, a push up the table, and a couple of positives to take forward.


But one of the key matters that they didn't get to do last night, was to improve their net run rate. Had the rain not reduced the match to 35 overs a side, they would have had the ideal opportunity to do just that.

Like so many top teams currently do, the Proteas often speak about the importance of taking each match one at a time, but I'm sure they can't help but speculate on the various permutations that await as the Cricket World Cup semi-finals draw nearer.

Australia, South Africa, New Zealand and Sri Lanka are favourites to take the four spots in the semi-finals, and while most teams won't openly admit it, everyone is trying to avoid fourth place, which is likely to mean a semi-final clash against world champions Australia, who look set to finish top of the Super Eights log.

South African coach Mickey Arthur though, isn't afraid of making his intentions known, and has already told the media the Proteas would prefer not to face Australia in the semi-finals.

Is that the sound of a man who is scared of facing the Aussies, or just someone who knows what he wants; a clash with the champions in the final?


Forget who they fancy playing in the last four, last night the Proteas found out that the semi-finals are a long way away, and if a team like Ireland can put them under pressure, then they're going to be up against it when they face New Zealand, England and even the West Indies in their remaining Super Eights matches.

The Proteas will now turn their attention to Saturday's clash with Bangladesh, as they look to complete a Guyana treble.

They will be wary of Bangladesh speedster, Mashrafe Mortaza, who is lethal with the new ball.

What about sending Justin Kemp up the order for some much-needed time in the middle?

  • Kass Naidoo is editor of gsport... for Girls!

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