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Proteas look to batter Scots

cricket Updated: Mar 20, 2007 02:53 IST
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Top-ranked South Africa would want to be as ruthless as possible against minnows Scotland before taking on bitter rivals Australia in their crunch World Cup test.

"We are focused on our match against Scotland, because this is the match to play for now," said South African captain Graeme Smith of his team's Group A clash at Warner Park on Tuesday.

Smith believed his team's emphatic 221-run win over the Netherlands in their first group match last week had given the players a much-needed work out. "After what happened in Trinidad we arrived in St Kitts and since then have better preparation. The batsmen have had good workouts and the bowlers bowled a few so I am happy with the preparations,' said Smith.

Only opener AB de Villiers failed to make an impact in the last match against the Netherlands when he was dismissed without scoring, a failure Smith was happy to write off.

"He (de Villiers) had a good series against Pakistan back home and there is no doubt in my mind that he is a good player and will be among runs soon," said Smith who hoped his team will keep up the momentum of the first match.

"We know Scotland are a slightly better side so we need to improve. We have analysed some video footage of them," Smith added.

Ryan Watson will replace regular captain Craig Wright who has gone home to attend a family funeral but will be back for his team's last group match against the Netherlands on March 22.

Scotland coach Peter Drinnen said his team relishes the challenge of playing the number one team in the world. "We are excited by the challenge and both Australia and South Africa in our group provide us with two real challenges," said Drinnen.