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March 16, 2009
New Zealand's Super Six match against India at the North Sydney Oval on Tuesday will be a grudge game of sorts since last time around India ended their hopes of successive World Cup final appearances with a 40-run win in the semi-final. Four players from the current side - Haidee Tiffen, Aimee Mason, Sara McGlashan and Nicola Browne - featured in that match.
To add to India's psychological edge, they beat New Zealand in a World Cup warm-up game and are brimming with confidence after an unexpected Super Six win against Australia. New Zealand, who won all their group games, began the Super Six by losing to a dominant England side. A loss to India will all but kill their title hopes. New Zealand coach Gary Stead was optimistic about his side's chances especially since the match will be played at the North Sydney Oval. He felt the pitch there suited New Zealand's game.
"Absolutely, India are beatable. They beat us in the warm-up game on a really used wicket that suited their spinners a lot," Stead was quoted as saying to NZPA. "We're back at North Sydney where I know it's a good wicket and there's much better pace in it." New Zealand's hard-hitting batting line-up has been inconsistent so far in the tournament and only captain Haidee Tiffen has scored half-centuries in matches against the big teams. Sara McGlashan, Amy Satterthwaite and Nicola Browne all hit fifties against South Africa in a match New Zealand won by 199 runs.
Tiffen had earlier stressed the need for one top-order batsman to stay through the innings to put up a good total. McGlashan acknowledged the need for partnerships in the middle order. "Haidee was the only one to make a decent score; and hopefully we can string some partnerships together this time. North Sydney will suit us better," McGlashan said.
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