GEORGETOWN, Guyana, (Reuters):
SOUTH AFRICA are determined to solve the middle-order lapses that have undermined their last two performances in the World Cup, batsman Herschelle Gibbs said yesterday.
In their last Group A match against Australia in St. Kitts last Saturday, South Africa roared to 160 without loss before losing their last seven wickets for 38 runs on their way to defeat by 83 runs.
South Africa beat Sri Lanka by one wicket in their Super Eights clash in Georgetown on Wednesday, but they plummeted from 206 for five to 207 for nine before victory was secured.
The rot, Gibbs said yesterday, needed to be stopped against Ireland in their next match in Georgetown on Tuesday.
"In order to win a tournament like this you need a big team effort and along with that team effort come individual performances," Gibbs said.
Earlier in the event against the Netherlands, he became the first man in a World Cup to score six sixes in an over.
"The guys are firing up front and it would be good for our middle order to fire as well. But the guys are good enough to turn it all around in one game.
No immediate problem
"I wouldn't say it's a problem right now. The guys up the order have been setting it up, we just need the middle order to get in there and bat with the same intensity as the top order."
Gibbs said the collapse against Sri Lanka, which saw fast bowler Lasith Malinga become the first player to take four wickets with consecutive deliveries in an international match, had been a "wake-up call" for the South Africans.
"We learnt the lesson of not completing the innings with the same intensity with which we started it," Gibbs said. "That's what happens when you drop the intensity, it takes four good balls to turn the game on its head."