South Africa skipper Smith says pressure is on New Zealand

South Africa skipper Graeme Smith says the pressure is on New Zealand for the last two games of the one-day series.

india Updated: Feb 27, 2004 11:18 IST

South Africa skipper Graeme Smith says the pressure is on New Zealand for the last two games of the one-day international series, even though the home team hold a 3-1 lead.

The Kiwis, who won the fourth game by six wickets in Dunedin on Wednesday, will hope to clinch victory in the six-match series in Auckland on Saturday or Napier on Tuesday.

"We are the underdogs going into the last two games," Smith told reporters on Friday. "The pressure's on them for these games but if we pull back and draw the series from where we are now, it will feel like we've won it going into the test series.

"We have played our hardest but been outplayed. Man for man I think we have the better side but New Zealand have done well winning the last three games, so I feel we really are the underdogs now."

New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming dismissed the idea there was more pressure on his side.

"We're playing for the series win and they can only draw it," said Fleming. "Pressure-wise they've got to win two. We can win one out of two, although we'd love to make it 5-1.

NO IMPACT

"There's been a lot coming out of their camp, from fatigue to underdogs or favourites, all the way through. It hasn't had any impact on our team at all because we know that our gearings are set for talking about ourselves, getting better ourselves and playing winning cricket and that's what we've done so far."

The Dunedin match had to be delayed for 24 hours because of rain and bad weather may intervene again in Auckland on Saturday, with a tropical cyclone forecast.

"We've had some pretty horrific forecasts throughout the summer but this seems to top the lot," Fleming said.

New Zealand (from): Stephen Fleming (captain), Michael Papps, Hamish Marshall, Scott Styris, Craig McMillan, Chris Cairns, Jacob Oram, Brendon McCullum, Daniel Vettori, Kyle Mills, Michael Mason, Daryl Tuffey, Chris Harris.

South Africa (from): Graeme Smith (captain), Herschelle Gibbs, Jacques Kallis, Boeta Dippenaar, Jacques Rudolph, Mark Boucher, Shaun Pollock, Nicky Boje, Lance Klusener, Makhaya Ntini, Andre Nel, Robin Peterson, Albie Morkel, Ashwell Prince.

First Published: Feb 27, 2004 11:18 IST