World Cup dream still intact, says beleaguered Pollock

Published: Friday, February 21, 2003, 23:53 [IST]
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Bloemfontein: South African captain Shaun Pollock insisted on Friday his beleaguered team could still win the World Cup. South Africa clashes with Bangladesh at Goodyear Park on Saturday looking for its second win in the tournament after losing two key games to the West Indies and New Zealand. "In a funny way the defeats, the bad start have helped us," Pollock said. "We have seen the exit door, we know the feeling both as a team and as individuals.

We have nothing to fear and the wake up call has got us re-focussed on what is to be done and that is to keep winning. "The dream is still alive, the dream of going all the way, but our focus is on getting into the Super Sixes because looking further now is very dangerous," Pollock said after his team's training session. South Africa was given a lifeline when the West Indies-Bangladesh match was rained off at Benoni on Tuesday and forced the teams to share points. "We had to rely on others but now we are back in the hunt again," Pollock said. South Africa must win all its remaining games against Bangladesh, Canada and Group 'B' leaders Sri Lanka to have a chance of qualifying for the next round.

The host has been let down by ineffective bowling as West Indian Brian Lara and New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming took match-winning centuries off them. Pollock said his boys felt less pressure than what they did at the start of the tournament on February 9. "Public expectations have probably dropped, which is also not a bad thing and now we can relax and enjoy our cricket," he said. Veteran paceman Allan Donald is set to lose his place to all-rounder Andrew Hall on his home ground after conceding 109 runs in 14.5 overs for one wicket in the two matches he played. "Donald has perhaps been focussing on taking wickets in his first over rather than bowling at check points," coach Eric Simons said.

"If he gets them in place wickets will come." Simons appeared more worried by the inclement weather, but he was confident there will be enough time to take the expected four points against Bangladesh. It is understood that as well as Hall, there will be a place in the twelve for Robin Peterson while bowling coach Corrie van Zyl said, that if it was up to him, Donald would play. "But it's not my decision. I wanted Allan to play against Kenya in Potchefstroom and I would play him against Bangladesh. I know that Allan needs time in the middle to get his confidence back. Out in the middle is the best place to find your form again," he added. Copyright AFP 2001

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