Proteas unconcerned about St Kitts washout

Published: Friday, March 16, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
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Basseterre, St Kitts:South Africa go into their World Cup match against the Netherlands here on Friday having not been able to practice due to rain on Thursday, but coach Micky Arthur believes his team is mentally prepared.

"It's not ideal, but we have worked hard in the last few days and the guys are on top of their game, so there was no point in just going out and risking a possible injury," Arthur told reporters.

Intermittent rain denied South Africa practice at Warner Park with clouds and showers predicted for the next 24 hours.

The Proteas are expected to win easily against their lowly-ranked Group A rivals, but a wash-out could be a concern for Graeme Smith's side who did not have an ideal build-up to the event.

They struggled to beat minnows Ireland before going down to Pakistan by seven wickets in their warm-up matches last week.

South Africa's top-order, including Smith and reliable all-rounder Jacques Kallis, still need a proper work-out in the middle.

But Arthur said he was happy with team's preparations and the build-up would not affect the team's performance in the crunch Group A match against Australia on March 24.

"I think our preparations are good and we are comfortable with where we are at the moment and there is no point worrying," said Arthur who revealed Ireland have passed them useful information about the Dutch.

"We have actually dug deep into the Netherlands and have managed to trade off with Ireland. They gave us some information about them and we gave them some on Pakistan and we went through some video last night."

Pakistan, who lost their opening match to the hosts West Indies on Tuesday, meet Ireland in Group D on Saturday.

Arthur singled out South African-born, Dutch allrounder Ryan ten Doeschate as a potential threat.

"He is their best player and a good cricketer who bowls in the right area."

Arthur hoped his team uses the new ball well during the World Cup.

"The new ball is going to be a factor, how well you can use it in terms of not losing wickets and, in the same way, getting more wickets with it when you bowl."

Defending champions Australia, South Africa's bitter rivals, got off to a flying start with a crushing 203-run win against Scotland on Wednesday.

The top two teams qualify for the next round of Super Eights.


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