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Last Updated:  Thursday, 20 February, 2003, 08:26 GMT

Please do not rain
Allan Donald
By Allan Donald
South Africa fast bowler

We have been crossing our fingers and looking at the clouds over the last few days, but it looks like the recent bad weather could turn in our favour.

Several of the team spent Tuesday on the golf course, constantly on the phone to the groundsman in Benoni.

We were pleased to hear finally that the match between Bangladesh and West Indies had been rained off - handing us a route back into the Super Six without having to rely on others.

Of course, either of the two 'minor' matches that we have left - against Bangladesh on Saturday and Canada the following Thursday - could also be rain-hit.

The forecast for this weekend at least is for the clouds to clear in my hometown of Bloemfontein, but we know that is something that is out of our hands.

Herschelle Gibbs scored 143 against New Zealand
Herschelle Gibbs apologised to his team-mates
After the match we will all have a few days at home, which will be nice after having been together since 31 January.

It may be nice to get out of each other's faces for a short while but the team spirit remains good, despite rumours to the contrary.

We had a big meeting on Tuesday after the loss to New Zealand and sorted a lot of things out.

Herschelle Gibbs apologised to the team for his comments the other day, saying he never meant to criticise Shaun Pollock's captaincy.

We as a team back Shaun to the hilt.

I would love to see anyone who would want his job, with all the flak he takes and all the press conferences and functions he has to attend.

I was sorry for Herschelle after he hit 143 only for us still to lose to the Kiwis.

I thought 306 was a very competitive score and would always back our attack to stop an onslaught but we simply did not perform to our abilities.

We still have a job to do, and we still have to trust in the weather
Stephen Fleming played out of his socks, although who knows what might have happened if he had been caught on 53.

He knew the new ball was the key and took the attack to Shaun especially.

Again Jacques Kallis and I struggled and they were always up with the required rate. Once the rain began I knew we were stuffed.

Now we have got two games to try and regain our confidence.

It will be good to get some time against the so-called minnows to correct the things we have struggled with in pressurised games.

Personally I would like to get some overs under my belt, although I don't know if I will be picked.

The perfect scenario would be to get 10 overs in each match, and a few wickets.

Bangladesh put the West Indies under pressure for part of that Benoni match with line-and-length bowling so we cannot afford to take them lightly.

The Goodyear Park pitch will suit our bowlers down to the ground.

It is the recently-relaid Test pitch (so it will have pace and bounce) and it has been under the covers for a few days so there should be early movement.

But we know we still have a job to do, and we still have to trust in the weather.





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