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We are ready to face Australia in the semi-finals: Smith

Bridgetown, Barbados, Apr 18 (UNI) Having sealed a last four berth at their last match, a relieved South Africa captain Greame Smith announced that his side was ready to face Australia in the second semi-finals of the cricket World Cup at St Lucia.

''It was an emotional moment for us to reach the semi-finals and we are quite prepared for it now. In fact, the ups and downs of the Super Eight stage helped us to peak,'' he said, relishing the nine-wicket win against England.

South Africa, who play the Aussies in the second semi-finals on April 25, had to wait till their last Super Eights match against England to know their fate after a shocking loss to Bangladesh.

''I think we have been able to remove the choker tag to some extent. The semi-final is a big game and we are now just two games away from the Cup and nice to be in the top four of the World Cup,'' Smith said.

He said he will now face problems of plenty with the fine showing by Andrew Hall, who took five wickets to help his side bowled out England for 154.

Makhaya Ntini was dropped in favour of Hall in the game against England, but in the semi-finals Smith would have to take a hard decision whom to play.

Ntini has not been picking up wickets in the last couple of matches but yet he has been South Africa's strike bowler for long. ''Let us decide that at St Lucia,'' Smith said.

He added that the team was really high at the moment.

''Looking at the emotion of the dressing room, we can tell we are ready for the big semi-final.'' UNI

Story first published: Wednesday, April 18, 2007, 8:32 [IST]
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