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Last Updated:  Tuesday, 11 February, 2003, 15:21 GMT
Windies wake-up call
Allan Donald
By Allan Donald
South African fast bowler

I don't mean any disrespect to Kenya when I say that I, and the rest of the team, are feeling far more relaxed this week than in the lead-up to the World Cup opener.

It was an emotional build-up to the tournament.

I felt like I was appearing in the Olympic Games when we walked out to that massive ovation at the opening ceremony.

I was standing next to Jonty Rhodes when we sang the national anthem and he admitted to having a lump in his throat.

I knew he was thinking about Hansie Cronje - I know I was.

That's all over now, though. Being in Potchefstoom means there is far less pressure on us and we can get down to the business of making sure we win our next three games.

Brian Lara takes the applause after his century at Newlands
Windies batting star Brian Lara was in top form against Donald and Co
The biggest of those will be against New Zealand on Sunday at the Wanderers.

But everyone is keen to put on a really special performance against Kenya to show what we're capable of.

We have never looked further than the first match in this tournament, even though we know we have what it takes to win it.

We know that the way to win it is to take it game by game by game.

It was disappointing to lose to West Indies but we can take a real positive from the fact that the result was so close, even though we were well below our best form.

Docked

They took the game away from us in their last 10 overs, adding more than 100 runs but we could easily have got there with three or four overs to spare.

The fact that we were docked an over for slow bowling took the wind out of our sails a little but we set ourselves batting targets and were always ahead of them.

The problem was just that we failed to put together partnerships.

Wickets kept falling at crucial times and, although Lance Klusener and Mark Boucher did well, it was too much to expect of them.

It is great to see Lance back to his best after a difficult period, especially a tough tour to Australia, where the bowlers changed their tactics to him a bit and took away his confidence.

The shot that convinced me that he was back was a pull for six, almost over Cow Corner, the longest part of the ground.

Brian Lara is also in amazing nick for a guy who has not played in the last five months.

His first big shot was when he hit me for six over long-off, and when I looked at the replay on the big screen I really could not see anything wrong with it.

That's Lara, though - special players play special shots like that.

As for my own form, there has been some criticism in the newspapers, apparently saying I'm over the hill, although I have not read it myself.

I'm not going to go over the top about it - they're entitled to their opinion.

But I know I'm going to go out there, whether it's against Kenya or New Zealand, and put things right.




SEE ALSO
Lara inspires Windies
10 Feb 03 |  Team Pages
Ceremony launches World Cup
11 Feb 03 |  World Cup
Time to make amends
06 Feb 03 |  South Africa


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