| Ricky Ponting during practice in Durban Friday. (AP/PTI)
Durban: Reigning champions Australia will not let up against surprise fellow semi-finalists Kenya when they meet in the World Cup Super Sixes match on Saturday.
While Australia romped through to the semi-finals with an all-win record, Kenya became the first non-Test playing nation to make the last-four when they beat Zimbabwe on Wednesday.
The Australians are expected to toy with the Kenyans, but middle-order batsman Damien Martyn said his side had taken note of the Africans’ giant-killing feats.
“As such we respect their side all over,” Martyn said. “We have not set any targets as such, other than to go out and win by playing the best we can.
“We see the Kenyans in the same light as any other side in the competition and it is our declared intention to win the World Cup without being beaten. This is the last round robin game. The next two are straight knockout games.
“For a couple of our players this may be their last World Cup tournament. So we want to win it in style. We don’t plan to do anyone any favours by way of team tampering.”
The match will help Kenya get used to the Kingsmead lights under which they take on India in the second semi-final on March 20. Australia’s opponents for the first semi-final at Port Elizabeth on Tuesday will be known after the Super Sixes ends on Saturday.
Kenya have already produced one of the great upsets of this tournament by beating 1996 champions Sri Lanka in the group phase.
But victory over unbeaten Australia would surpass even Bangladesh’s win over Pakistan at the 1999 World Cup and rank with the most sensational wins ever known in sport.
Australian captain Ricky Ponting is unlikely to allow his batsmen to take it easy.
Ponting was unhappy with the way the top order, including himself, collapsed against New Zealand during their 96-run victory in Port Elizabeth on Tuesday. “We must get some more runs on the board the next time we play,” Ponting said after a match where his side managed 208 for nine.
Australia’s batting problems were caused by a superb spell of fast bowling from Shane Bond who took six wickets.
Kenya’s ‘quicks’ are nowhere near Bond’s pace and will not frighten the Australia batsmen.
But in the likes of Martin Suji, who took three for 19 on Wednesday, the minnows have bowlers capable of hitting a good length while leg-spinner Collins Obuya should not be under-estimated either.
Kenya captain Steve Tikolo knows his side can enjoy the game. “Australia is a top team,” he said. “We will just go out and play with the same attitude that has got us this far. We have nothing to lose.”
Australia (from): Ricky Ponting (capt.), Adam Gilchrist, Michael Bevan, Andy Bichel, Ian Harvey, Matthew Hayden, Brad Hogg, Brett Lee, Darren Lehmann, Jimmy Maher, Damien Martyn, Glenn McGrath, Andy Symonds, Nathan Bracken, Nathan Hauritz.
Kenya (from): Steve Tikolo (capt.), Maurice Odumbe, Asif Karim, Alpesh Vadher, Ravindu Shah, Hitesh Modi, Brijal Patel, Martin Suji, Tony Suji, Thomas Odoyo, Kennedy Otieno, Joseph Angara, Peter Ongondo, David Obuya, Collins Obuya.
Umpires: Billy Bowden (NZ), Steve Bucknor (WI).
Third Umpire: Asoka de Silva (Lan)
Match Referee: Mike Procter (SA).