GROS ISLET, St Lucia, April 22, 2007 (AFP) – Australian seamer Nathan Bracken said it was crucial to wrap up convincing wins over Sri Lanka and New Zealand to deliver a crucial psychological blow against potential World Cup final opponents. The defending champions demolished Sri Lanka by seven wickets and then the Black Caps by a huge 215 runs as Ricky Ponting’s side cruised into the semi-finals with a 100-percent record.
Australia, the two-time defending champions, face South Africa here on Wednesday with New Zealand clashing with Sri Lanka in the other semi-final in Jamaica on Tuesday.
“Seeing as New Zealand and Sri Lanka are both in the semi-finals, we saw it as important to win those games,” said left-arm seamer Bracken who shrugged off the significance of Sri Lanka resting Chamina Vaas and Muttiah Muralitharan for their Super Eights clash.
Lasith Malinga was ruled out through injury.
“Sri Lanka may have been minus three top bowlers but to us that did not make any difference. It was another chance to make a big statement and show everyone we are up for this World Cup,” added Bracken in his BBC column.
“We bowled well in pairs and that is something bowling coach Troy Cooley has instilled in us to work and play togethe