'New Zealand focussed on next match, not on South Africa'

Wellington, Mar 19: New Zealand all-rounder Grant Elliott said they had paid little notice to South Africa's overwhelming victory against Sri Lanka as they prepared for their own World Cup quarter-final against the West Indies.

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The winner of the New Zealand-West Indies clash in Wellington on Saturday will play South Africa in the semi-finals in Auckland next Tuesday. The Proteas were in imperious form as they crushed Sri Lanka by nine wickets in the first quarter-final on Wednesday, but South Africa-born Elliott insisted he hardly noticed.

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"I didn't watch too much. I saw it was quite a convincing win from them," he said of South Africa's dominant display at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

"We'll concentrate on this game (against the West Indies) and if we do get to the semi-final then we'll have a look at their team and scout them accordingly."

Elliott, born in Johannesburg, said his South African heritage would have no bearing on how he would feel if New Zealand played the Proteas in the semi-finals.

"I'll just approach it as I would any other game," said Elliott, who played provincial cricket in South Africa before emigrating to New Zealand in 2001.

"Our squad is here to try and win the World Cup as is every other team," he said before repeating that the Black Caps' focus was on the West Indies.

"It's a strong West Indies team and a crunch game. Everyone has got their match-winners so it's about scouting this team and going about our business in exactly the same way as we've approached every other game." Elliott, who will celebrate his 36th birthday on Saturday, is in the New Zealand side as a bowler.

But Elliott revealed that if he was called up into the attack, it meant New Zealand were struggling in the field.

"Generally, if I am bowling we are not doing too well as a unit and we need a breakthrough," he said.

"But if we continue the way Trent (Boult), Timmy (Southee) and Dan (Vettori) have gone about the business I shouldn't need to bowl too many (overs)."

Boult, Southee and Vettori are among the leading wicket-takers in the tournament. While New Zealand sailed through pool play unbeaten, the West Indies scraped into the quarter-finals on a superior run-rate to Ireland after finishing with three wins and three losses in Pool B.

But Elliott said there was more to preparing for a knockout match than comparing previous history and he added the West Indies had shown they have match-winners other than hard-hitting batsman Chris Gayle.

"Darren Sammy is someone who brings a lot of experience to the table, they've got Marlon Samuels as well who can be quite destructive. Andre Russell has shown with bat and ball he can be quite an exciting player."


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