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Last Updated:  Saturday, 1 March, 2003, 13:49 GMT

Hosts wary of Vaas threat
Charl Willoughby has been summoned by South Africa to help prepare their batsmen for the threat of Sri Lankan swing bowler Chaminda Vaas.

Vaas has been the bowler of the tournament so far

Left-armer Willoughby, who plays for Western Province, will take part in net sessions prior to Monday's match in Durban.

Defeat could see South Africa eliminated from the tournament and they are well aware of the threat posed by Vaas.

He has so far taken 16 wickets in the World Cup including a hat-trick with his first three balls in the game against Bangladesh.

"He is a key factor," said coach Eric Simons. "He's done exceptionally well in the tournament.

"We haven't faced someone who swings the ball like he does, so it's good to get someone like Charl to come in and prepare us."

Opener Herschelle Gibbs is backing himself, however, to steer the team into the Super Six phase with a first 100 at Kingsmead.

He has made 311 runs in five games and has been closely studying video of Vaas.

Gibbs in the nets
Gibbs is South Africa's leading run scorer

"Against any swing bowler, your balance has got to be really good, especially early on when they do get that shape - your balance is crucial.

"I looked at the six wickets Vaas got against Bangladesh when he got the hat-trick and guys were just planting their (front) foot - their balance wasn't really that good," said Gibbs.

The toss could be the decisive factor in the game, however, with England's batsmen undone by Indian left-armers Ashish Nehra and Zaheer Khan at the same ground last Wednesday.

South Africa would, no doubt, prefer to bat first, but Gibbs insists they are good enough to score the runs to win the game win under lights, if necessary.

"It's a bit of a farce, all this talk about batting second.

"It's a really good wicket here and we've played enough cricket here under lights.

"We beat Australia here batting second (last year) and there's no reason we can't do the same on Monday."

Links to more South Africa stories


South Africa 'need spark'
01 Mar 03 |  South Africa
Have Your Say on South Africa
04 Jan 03 |  Have Your Say

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