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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Concrete poured, setting quickly: World Cup Day 8

South Africa and New Zealand won easily in their Group Stage matches against Scotland and Kenya respectively.

In the Group A game at Basseterre, St Kitts, Scotland batted doggedly to post 8/186 from 50 overs after being sent in by South Africa. This was hardly a competitive score yet perhaps more than the South Africans would have liked to concede. Graham Smith (91/ 65b) and A b de Villiers (62/45b) hit a quickfire 134 in 15.5 overs for the first wicket to set up a quick victory, which was duly accomplished in 23.2 overs with 7 wickets to spare.


At Gros Islet, St Lucia Kenya sent in New Zealand, who compiled 7/331 from their 50 overs, with Stephen Fleming, Ross Taylor,Steve Styris and Craig McMillan each producing half centuries. Scores of this magnitude are becoming more common, even against more evenly matched teams than here.

Kenya batted through until the final over, thanks to a combative 71/89b from Ravi Shah before they were dismissed for 183, leaving the Black Caps the victors by 148 runs.


In Group A Scotland and Netherlands will be omitted. The match of the round between Australia and South Africa will be played on Saturday. In Group C New Zealand are through and England will need to beat Kenya on Saturday (on balance of form likely, but by no means as certain as it might have seemed a few days ago) for the final standings of the Group to be confirmed.
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