Fri, Oct 27, 2006 - Page 23 News List

Winner takes all in South Africa and Pakistan clash

AFP , MOHALI, INDIA

Confident South Africa clash with mercurial Pakistan in an explosive Champions Trophy match today that will take the winner into the semi-finals and sends the loser home.

New Zealand's win against Pakistan on Wednesday night gave the Black Caps one of the two semi-final berths from group B, leaving South Africa and Pakistan to scrap for the other spot.

World No 2 South Africa resurrected their campaign after an opening loss to the Kiwis by knocking Sri Lanka out of the tournament with a 78-run victory in Ahmedabad on Tuesday.

Pakistan, who triumphed over Sri Lanka in their opening game, found New Zealand too hot to handle in Mohali and were left fighting for survival.

But they are optimistic they will revel in the pressure of a do-or-die battle in the day-night game against South Africa.

"We are known to fight when the going gets tough and it will be no different now," stand-in captain Younis Khan said.

"It would have helped if we had beaten New Zealand but we can't dwell on that any more. We will bounce back just as we have done in the past," he said.

Few expected Pakistan to remain in contention for the tournament after captain Inzamam-ul-Haq was banned for four matches over the Oval Test fiasco and pace spearheads Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif were sent home a day before their first match following positive dope tests.

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