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Morgan plotting a win against South Africa, everything else is secondary

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Sharjah, Nov 6 (IANS) England skipper Eoin Morgan insists he doesn’t want to worry too much about the permutations and combinations in the Group 1 ahead of the ‘Super 12’ game against South Africa, saying his side would be looking at nothing less than a win on Saturday to sail into the semifinals riding on an all-win record.

Though England have won all four ‘Super 12’ games and are in prime position to make the last-four with eight points in their kitty, Australia and South Africa — on six points each from four games — too can reach eight points by winning their respective games against the West Indies and England respectively on Saturday.

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While England have an amazing Net Run Rate (NRR) of +3.183, and have virtually secured a semifinal berth, things might just change if they suffer a really big defeat against the Proteas on Saturday evening, which would result in the NRR coming into play.

But Morgan said his team’s only focus in Sharjah would be to complete a clean sweep in the Super 12s. “We’re going into the game wanting to win. Given some of the situations we’ve been through in the past, we know how difficult it is to win a World Cup game itself without adding different permutations throughout the course of that,” said Moran.

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“We’ve watched teams throughout this World Cup not even being in the contest at some stages, so we know how difficult it is to get in that contest and then to try and go and do what your team needs to try and win the game.”

England were given their sternest test to date last time out against Sri Lanka before winning by 26 runs and Morgan said he is proud of his team’s desire to keep getting better.

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“I think our win at Sharjah was as tough a win as we’ve ever had as a T20 group, so the satisfaction within that was significant,” added the 35-year-old skipper. “I take huge pride in leading the team. One of the things that makes me extremely proud is that regardless of how well or how poorly we’ve done, guys have always wanted to get better.

“They’re not really that interested in standing still or spending too much time reflecting on what has been and gone. They want to continue to get better. They know that once you lose that drive in trying to achieve things individually and as a team, it has a big repercussion effect on the wider game and throughout our country.”

For South Africa, the match-up with England will be do-or-die and Proteas captain Temba Bavuma expects his players to leave everything out on the field. “I think first of all, in the context of the event that we’re at, it is obviously a big game. Some have even called it as almost our quarterfinal,” he said.

“So I think from that point of view and looking at our expectations as a team coming to this event, we want to play our best cricket. We obviously understand with Australia currently No. 2 in our group, with their superior run rate, there’s not much we can do from that point of view. I think the first point when we go out would be to win the game. Obviously, the team has gone through a lot over the last while, players, members of management.

“I think we’ve learnt a lot about each other. We’ve grown a lot as a team in finding ways to get through all the tough times that we’ve gone through collectively,” he added.



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