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Saturday, March 17, 2007

NZ beat England in real game, S Africa wallop Netherlands: World Cup Day 4

England supporters would be disappointed with their team's failure to make a stronger showing against New Zealand at St Lucia in their first rematch since the Australian tri-series.

Kevin Pietersen (60/92b) and Ian Bell (31/54b) built on a modest start of 3/52 but both were out at 133. Flintoff and Dalrymple also went cheaply, leaving England 7/138 in the 39th over. Nixon (42/41b) and Plunkett (29/34b) restored some hope to their side by taking risks and the score to 209 without further loss. Bond
(10-1-19-2) was outstanding for NZ.

209 looked a good score when NZ was 3/19, but thereafter Steve Styris and Craig McMillan asserted themselves. Monty Panesar had McMillan (27/34b) caught at 72. Jacob Oram joined Styris and the pair took their team to victory without further loss and with 9 overs to spare (Styris 87/113b, Oram 63/83b).

Given the composition of Group C, England should, unless Kenya produce a massive upset when the teams meet next week, proceed to the Super Eight Series. New Zealand will be more confident but in this game relied heavily on Bond, Styris and Oram, so will be expecting others to perform in future games.


The Group A match at Warner Park St Kittswas reduced by rain to 40 overs a side, which was a merciful release for the Dutch, who fielded while South Africa, after losing 1/0, walloped their way to 3/353 with major, and rapid, contributions from Kallis 128 n o/109b, Smith 67/59b, Gibbs 72/40b (including a record six 6s in an over), Boucher 75 n o/31b. Three of the Dutch bowlers bowled four overs apiece: their combined figures were 12-0-163-1!

The Dutch lost two early wickets and struggled through their 40 overs to reach 9/132. They will be hoping to be more competitive against Australia, but only have a day's break to regroup mentally. South Africa will, with good reason, be cock-a-hoop and must fancy their chances against Australia next week.


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