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World Cup 2000 - Match Reports

3rd Place Play-Offs

Men
SOUTH AFRICA vs ENGLAND

Last night, South Africa were just 2 runs away from playing in the Grand Final. The score they were defending was passed on the second-last ball of the match. The last ball was defended for no score (and most importantly, no wicket), and a gallant and courageous South Africa were out of the race for the ultimate prize. In the process, they dramatically showed that the current World Cup holders are definitely not invincible, a message no doubt heeded by both Australia and their Grand Final opponents, New Zealand.

In the first game of the Qualifying Round, England defeated South Africa in a thriller. Since then South Africa have lost two games by just one run, notably last night's game against Australia. England's only win against any of the Semi-Finalists was that first game against South Africa.

But as we said last night, and South Africa so clearly demonstrated, finals are a very different game .... previous form is perhaps the least reliable of indicators in such matches.

Well, England will certainly be buoyed by their Women's team winning their third-place play-off. Equally, South Africa should be heartened by their showing against Australia last night - the disappointment at losing so narrowly has to be converted to pride and belief in everything else they achieved in that game.

In keeping with past practises, Indoor Cricket World isn't going to try to pick the winner here or elsewhere. We're just going to relish the competition, as we've been doing all tournament. And there's still so much more to come . . . .

South Africa showed they suffered no ill-effects (other than extreme disappointment) from last night's game, totally outplaying England in this game.

South Africa 131 defeated England 69

After a frustrating tournament (in which they lost 2 games by one run, including the game which decided who played in the Grand Final), South Africa have secured 3rd place. As the tournament progressed South Africa seemed to improve significantly. If they can keep that up, the next World Cup will be very, very interesting indeed.

2000 Indoor Cricket World (formerly the Australian Indoor Cricket Page) shel@indoorcricketworld.com