Cricket World Cup 2015

SA 'raring to go' in quarters

2015-03-12 16:10
David Miller. (File, Gallo Images)

Wellington - South Africa have put their rollercoaster pool performances at the Cricket World Cup behind them and are "raring to go" in the knockout rounds, batsman David Miller said on Thursday.

Miller, who scored 49 as the Proteas defeated the United Arab Emirates by 146 runs to secure a quarter-final berth, said South Africa were not dwelling on Pool B losses to India and Pakistan.

"We've had a couple of upsets but I always believe that might happen in group stages," he said.

"But as we move forward, I think we've shown over the last year and a half the consistency we can play with.

"I think here and now, the boys will be raring to go come that quarter-final and preparing really hard for it."

South Africa's likely quarter-final opponents are Sri Lanka, the 1996 champions who have a formidable batting line up capable of setting big totals.

Pundits such as former Proteas skipper Graeme Smith have questioned South Africa's ability to chase down targets when batting second, but Miller said it was not a concern.

He attributed the shock defeat against Pakistan, when South Africa were all out for 202 chasing 232, down to bad luck on the night.

"This is sometimes a cruel game, it's the way it goes," he said. "But we've performed chasing, so I don't think there's any areas where we need to improve.

"I think maybe just the execution of certain shots that we played the other night, but nothing more than that."

South African skipper AB de Villiers said he was pleased with his team's performance against the UAE, when minds could have easily wandered forward to the quarter-finals.

"The boy rocked up with a great attitude today," he said."We wanted to win and we wanted to play a good game of cricket, which we did."

He was hopeful wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock would stay in the starting line up, despite only scoring 26 against the UAE and averaging under eight at the tournament.

De Villiers said de Kock was a potential match-winner who was due a big innings and retaining the youngster meant he could avoid donning the gloves himself.

"Personally I don't want to keep, it really puts a lot of pressure on me as a captain," he said.

"I've got more time without the gloves in hand, feel I can get to my bowlers, communication is much better, so it will be a last resort for us to move in that direction."

UAE captain Mohammad Tauqir said he was pleased his bowlers restricted South Africa to fewer than 400 runs and his batters lasted 47.3 overs against a potent bowling attack.

"Playing almost 50 overs against them is a great learning experience for our side and gives a lot of confidence to us and our batters," he said.

Read more on:    proteas  |  cwc 2015  |  david miller  |  cricket
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