Having endured a “stressful” journey to book a Champions Trophy’s semifinal berth,England captain Alastair Cook said he didn’t really care which among India and South Africa await his team in the last-four stage of the tournament.
England beat New Zealand by 10 runs in their rain-curtailed and tense final group match here yesterday. If the hosts finish top of the group,they would face South Africa,while a second place would have them square off against India.
“We don’t mind who we play. We are just glad we are in there. We look forward to the semi-final against whoever that might be,” said Cook.
“It was quite a stressful day,especially with those last few overs. We thought we were above the rate but Anderson and Williamson took it on,luckily we got over the line,” he added.
Reflecting on the performance,Cook lauded his bowlers.
“It was a very fine bowling performance. We were very good in the field today and I thought we were good with the bat,maybe 10 runs short. We’re happy to be in the semi-final,that was a good performance.
“We’re two games away now. Graeme’s got a calf injury but we’re very lucky to have James Tredwell to step in,” he added.
New Zealand captain,Brendon McCullum said it was the good spells by English pacers early on which put them on the backfoot.
“England bowled outstandingly well at the start of our innings and set us back,” he said.
“Kane and Corey gave us a chance but it wasn’t until they got going and in the end we were short. It’s one of those things (dropping catches),Nathan is normally very good.
“The run-rate has kept us going,it’ll be hard to cheer for Australia but if it keeps us in the tournament,then good,” he added.
New Zealand would now hope for an Australian victory over Sri Lanka but only by a small margin to ensure that their net run-rate remains better than the team from Down Under.
“We’d love Australia to play some excellent cricket tomorrow (Monday),obviously not too good,” said McCullum.
“We had an opportunity today (Sunday) and we passed it up,we can’t be upset. If we do get another opportunity,who knows?”
Cook said he was relieved that his team didn’t leave it on other results.
“It was great to get the opportunity to keep it in our hands today particularly with the rain about. We got a competitive total in the end and I thought we bowled pretty well…24 overs,it is a nerve-wracking time for a captain.”