South Africa anticipate return of Gibbs

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DURBAN, South Africa, Sep 18 (Reuters) - South Africa coach Mickey Arthur hopes Herschelle Gibbs will be fit to face New Zealand in a Twenty20 World Cup Super Eights match tomorrow.

Gibbs injured a hamstring during his match-winning innings of 90 not out in South Africa's eight-wicket win over West Indies in the opening match of the tournament in Johannesburg on Sept. 11.

''We're still taking it a bit easy with Herschelle,'' Arthur told a news conference today.

''We're quite keen to get him ready tomorrow but he'll have to go through another fitness test before the match.'' Arthur was impressed with the promise shown by allrounder Albie Morkel, who smashed 41 off 29 balls to guide South Africa to a seven-wicket win over Bangladesh in Cape Town on Saturday.

''He's given us momentum and we can use him at any time in the innings,'' Arthur said.

''You can't leave him sitting in the dressing-room, he needs to bat at some stage because he's really explosive.'' Arthur said South Africa and New Zealand, who beat England by five runs in Durban on Tuesday, brought similar strengths into the tournament.

''The format suits sides with a lot of allrounders, teams who can bat deep and who can have seven or eight bowlers,'' Arthur said.

''We're quite lucky that way and so are New Zealand.'' South Africa are likely to secure a semi-final berth if they beat New Zealand, which Arthur said would serve as motivation.

''We don't want to leave it to the last game, we don't want a do-or-die affair against India (in Durban on Thursday),'' he said.

''We'd like to button our fate up tomorrow and if we win we're pretty much certain of qualification.'' REUTERS BJR ND2040

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