WC 2003 - Grim future for Kiwis as they look beyond Canada
Published: Sunday, March 2, 2003, 8:45 [IST]
Copyright AFP 2001
Kenya's entry into Super Six historic: President Kibaki
Benoni: Stephen Fleming's New Zealand goes into Monday's World Cup match against Canada knowing even a huge win in its last league outing may not secure it a place in the Super Sixes.Even as the Kiwis take on the minnows, their attention will be focussed on another key game the same day between Sri Lanka and South Africa under the Kingsmead lights at Durban.New Zealand will want the Sri Lankans to win, otherwise it could be an early flight home for Fleming's men if the rest of the games don't go their way.As if the race for the next round from group B was not close enough, Kenya complicated it further by qualifying for the Super Sixes with a 32-run win over Bangladesh on Saturday.That leaves Sri Lanka, South Africa and New Zealand battling for the other two spots and the final placings are unlikely to be known before the last league match is over on Tuesday.With each team having a game in hand, Sri Lanka lead the table with 16 points, followed by South Africa and New Zealand on 12 each.The Kiwis, who lost their opening game to Sri Lanka, played their best cricket to defeat both South Africa and the West Indies.That should have been enough to see them through to the next round, except the decision to forfeit the game against Kenya at Nairobi on February 21 has returned to haunt them."All we can do is try and win our last game because we're just passengers now," Fleming said."There are some scenarios, including run-rates, that we can try and improve but, like everyone else, we'll just have to sit back and watch events unfold."Fleming warned his team against taking it easy against Canada, which has improved after being shot out for One-day cricket's lowest total of 36 against Sri Lanka.New Zealand is almost certain to field first if it wins the toss to secure a big win over Canada and improve the run rate."It's important to be patient despite the need to win quickly because it's easy to fall into the trap of trying to make something happen with every ball," Fleming said."That can play into the hands of the opposition."New Zealand will be without batsman Lou Vincent and seamer Kyle Mills, who were injured during training on Friday.Vincent dislocated his left thumb while Mills suffered a torn hamstring, almost certainly ruling both players out of the Super Sixes if the Kiwis qualify.Canadian captain Joe Harris said his team's ambition was to give New Zealand a good run."We know they're going to come after us and it's going to be hard," Harris said. "But we have to hang out there and do our best."Canada's John Davison hit the quickest century in World Cup history against West Indies, while Ishwar Maraj batting through the full 50 overs against South Africa.