S. Africa get lifeline, fate is in their own hands

JOHANNESBURG: Delighted South Africa captain Shaun Pollock said the team's World Cup fate was back in their own hands on Tuesday after Group B rivals West Indies suffered a washout in their game against Bangladesh. 

“It's a much nicer situation to be in than we were 24 hours ago,” he said. “It certainly lifts our spirits ahead of the next few matches. 

“But, ultimately, we have to keep on winning.” 

West Indies lost two valuable points from a winning position when rain cut short their match in Benoni. 

Before the game, South Africa needed to win their three remaining games while praying for Sri Lanka to beat West Indies to have any chance of progressing. 

Tuesday's result, however, meant that – barring more rain or a major shock result involving a minor team – Pollock's team no longer have to rely on a Sri Lankan success against West Indies. 

Four teams are tightly bunched at the top of Group B. Sri Lanka lead with two wins out of two and eight points. 

New Zealand also have eight points but from three games and have also refused to play against Kenya in Nairobi. West Indies have six points and South Africa four, both from three games. 

The top three qualify for the Super Six stage, with run rate set to be a deciding factor. South Africa have a superior run rate to both New Zealand and West Indies.  

Meanwhile, West Indies skipper Carl Hooper said yesterday that the disappointment would be the springboard for his side's assault on a Super Sixes place. 

Hooper believes the washout may turn out to be a blessing in disguise for the crucial clash with Sri Lanka on Feb 28. 

“I'm disappointed that we were not able to get four points from this game,” said Hooper. 

“We can't do anything about the weather. Maybe this is a blessing in disguise for us as we will be in the right frame of mind to do whatever it takes to get the better of Sri Lanka,” Hooper said. – Agencies 

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