England look to step up against favourites

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ENGLAND will look to put their Irish nightmare behind them tomorrow when they face a South Africa side many are fancying for the World Cup.

Certainly Andrew Strauss will be demanding a drastic improvement in the bowling and fielding departments after twice conceding over 320 whilst Holland nearly made 300 and there were five dropped catches against Ireland.

The game, in Chennai (4am), doesn’t represent a must-win affair for England as two wins from their last three games will ensure top-four qualification.They can do so with just one win (they also play Bangladesh and West Indies) depending how other results go.

The Chennai pitch looks like being a good batting surface so it will be a big test for England’s attack against South Africa’s prolific batting.

Meanwhile, Bangladesh were toppled for just 58, the lowest World Cup score by a Test-ranked nation, as they lost by nine wickets to the West Indies yesterday.

The dismal batting display - in which star opener Tamim Iqbal was out after three balls - sparked angry scenes among Bangladeshi fans who booed the team off and some of them later pelted the West Indies team coach with stones.

The other tie yesterday saw a 10-wicket win for New Zealand over Zimbabwe who were dismissed for 162. Openers Martin Guptill, 86no, and Brendon McCullum, 76no, knocked them off in the 34th over.