Australia prepare for semi-final clash - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Australia prepare for semi-final clash

By Greg Buckle 24/04/2007 05:47:46 AM Comments (0)

Ricky Ponting's Australian team have landed in St Lucia and will have a net session on Tuesday in preparation for Wednesday's tense World Cup semi-final battle against South Africa.

The world champions have extended their World Cup winning streak to 21 matches including nine at this Caribbean tournament and will start favourites against the fourth-placed South Africans, who have lost to Australia, Bangladesh and New Zealand during the 47-day tournament.

Opener Matthew Hayden is the leading runscorer with 580 at 82.85 and will be a key factor for Australia who will look to attack seamer Shaun Pollock early in the innings.

Pollock conceded career-worst figures of 0-83 against Australia in their group clash at St Kitts last month.

South African coach Mickey Arthur concedes Hayden, who has blasted a record-equalling three centuries in the tournament, will be gunning for the ginger-headed veteran.

"We have a plan with him. I suspect he will take the new ball but if there's nothing happening we will probably whip him off early and go for the pace of Andre Nel," Arthur says.

"It's probably something we learned from the last game. Polly has bowled superbly in his comeback spells through the middle, him and Jacques Kallis have bowled cutters brilliantly."

Australia have no injury concerns while Arthur says South Africa's captain Graeme Smith will play despite a minor knee problem.

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