- Title: GRENADA: South Africa's Smith unfazed by run rate concerns
- Date: 15th April 2007
- Summary: GRENADA NATIONAL STADIUM, GRENADA (APRIL 13, 2007) (REUTERS) SOUTH AFRICAN TEAM AT GRENADA NATIONAL STADIUM SOUTH AFRICAN TEAM RUNNING HERSCHELLE GIBBS WATCHING MAKHAYA NTINI BOWLING TO GRAEME SMITH ASHWELL PRINCE, HERSCHELLE GIBBS, AB DE VILLIERS AND GRAEME SMITH IN NETS BATTING HERSCHELLE GIBBS BATTING AB DE VILLIERS AND HERSCHELLE GIBBS BATTING GRAEME SMITH BATTING AB DE VILLIERS BATTING VARIOUS OF NET PRACTICE CHARL LANGEVELDT BOWLING TO GRAEME SMITH
- Embargoed: 1st May 2007 17:55
- Location: Grenada
- Country: Grenada
- Topics: Sport
- Reuters ID: LVAP3MDRZ1EWYJ79ZABS7HXJYLA
- Aspect Ratio: 4:3
- Story Text: New Zealand face South Africa in the Super Eight match in Grenada National Stadium on Saturday.
New Zealand, one tantalizing win away from ensuring a World Cup semi-final berth, face a challenge on Saturday (April 14) after losing their unbeaten record to Sri Lanka.
The Kiwis have only 24 hours to recover from Thursday's six-wicket loss to the 1996 champions before regrouping for their Super Eights match against South Africa at the Grenada National Stadium.
South African captain Graeme Smith said he had decided to ignore concerns over his team's World Cup net run rate and simply chase victories with the second-stage Super Eights reaching their climax.
"I guess in our minds we know that there is a possibility that net run rate could play a role. I think foremost in our minds we also know it is in our control. If we win the next two games we cruise into the semi-finals and I think that is pretty much our focus at the moment, is winning the next two games. We know that if we can take care of that it won't come down to net run rate for us and if we win the next two games our net run rate will be good anyway. So I guess that's our focus at the moment and I think that if it does come down to net run rate, that we have taken control and dealt with it as well as we can from here on in," Smith told a news conference on Friday on the eve of their next match.
Net run rate is among the criteria that will be used to separate teams that finish on the same number of points in the standings in the run-up to the World Cup semi-finals.
South Africa face New Zealand in Grenada before taking on England in Barbados on Tuesday.
The latter match could well decide which of the two sides reach the semis although England would still have to beat West Indies in their final game, also in Bridgetown, Barbados.
South Africa are the only team with a negative net run rate among the four teams vying for three remaining semi-final berths.
Australia have already qualified by beating Ireland on Friday by nine wickets. Sri Lanka (eight points), New Zealand (eight), South Africa (six) and England (four) are all in contention with each having two games to play.
After Sri Lanka ended New Zealand's unbeaten run in the tournament on Thursday, they now face equally daunting challenges against South Africa and defending champions Australia.
The eight points they have collected so far may be enough to qualify for the semi-finals but they would prefer to clinch a place with a win in either or both of their last two matches.
"We have to win the game to make things secure and we want to win the game. We want to play in the semi-finals as well and who against is something that will wash-out towards the end of these two weeks as well. Playing Australia last or second last will set the games, a lot of those decisions will be made as to whether that is a win or lose match, but we have to concentrate on tomorrow, it's a game that we want to win, must win and need to look at in regards to that approach," said New Zealand coach John Bracewell.
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