Crucial clash against England

South Africa's Herschelle Gibbs, left, shakes hands with New Zealand's batsman Brendon McCullum at the end of thier Super 8 match. New Zealand won by 5 wickets. Pic. Rick Rycroft. 14/04/2007. © AP
South Africa's Herschelle Gibbs, left, shakes hands with New Zealand's batsman Brendon McCullum at the end of thier Super 8 match. New Zealand won by 5 wickets. Pic. Rick Rycroft. 14/04/2007. © AP

New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming says South Africa will be under more pressure than England in tomorrow's crunch World Cup clash in Barbados.

New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming says South Africa will be under more pressure than England in tomorrow's crunch World Cup clash in Barbados.

England, who have a superior net run-rate to the Proteas, will be in pole position for a semifinal spot if they triumph at the Kensington Oval.

"The expectation is probably on South Africa to win because of their ranking and the quality of the side," he said.

"England are coming from a behind position with less to lose."

The Kiwis also beat England earlier in the competition and Fleming feels there is little to choose between the sides on paper.

"It will be a good contest. It'll be tight, they're similar sides in their make-up. It's going to be about dealing with pressure,' he said. "You've got a quarterfinal scenario that's going to create lot of pressure for both sides."

South Africa came unstuck in seamer-friendly conditions in Grenada, managing only 194-7 before dropping three chances as New Zealand reached their target for the loss of five wickets.

But Proteas all-rounder Jacques Kallis says they will go into the England game in good spirits.

"It was always a must-win game for us, so in a way it's not a major thing losing.

"Obviously we'd have liked to win but it all boils down to England, it's basically a quarterfinal. Fate is in our hands, which is a positive thing," he insisted.

It was South Africa's second defeat in the competition, following the shock reverse against Bangladesh.

Kallis and his teammates will take on an England side that has yet to fire but he says they are ready for anything Michael Vaughan's men throw at them.

"Losing to Bangladesh was a result that could come back to bite us but if we can put in three big performances now we could still end up with the World Cup in our hands," he added.

"We've got to make sure we're on top of our game against England and take any half-chances."

- BBC

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