BLACKCAPS well prepared for tournament opener

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The BLACKCAPS have beaten India by nine runs in the ICC Twenty20 World Cup warm up match at Lord’s.

The BLACKCAPS are confident they’re well prepared for their 2009 World Twenty20 campaign – and are taking their opening match against Scotland seriously.

The kiwis face the Scots at the Oval, London, in their first game of the tournament on Saturday.

Despite Scotland’s status in the second tier of international cricketing nations, BLACKCAPS captain Daniel Vettori says his side will need to be on their game.

“It’s probably the most nerve-wracking game we can have first-up,” said Vettori. “You don’t want to be the team that slips up to an associate team. So we’ve got to be as professional as possible and win that game comfortably.”

The BLACKCAPS take a unique advantage into the game – coach Andy Moles was coach of Scotland for a year in 2005 and is familiar with many of their squad.

“It’s quite strange how things turn around and we end up playing them first game,” said Moles. “You know 99 times out of 100 you’ll win. But especially in the shorter form of the game it just takes one or two of the Scottish players to have a good day and perhaps one or two bad overs at the wrong time and it can change a game.

“But as long as we stick to our game plans and show belief and go out with confidence then I’m sure the right result will come.”

The BLACKCAPS have had a sustained build up to the tournament including a training camp near Oxford and several warm-up games – and Vettori says the preparation has been as good as they could hope for.

“Apart from the loss to Australia everything has gone really well,” he said.  “The guys have had plenty of time outside which they wouldn’t have had if they’d stayed home in New Zealand.

“So there’s a lot of confidence in the team but we know we have to back that up with some performances in these first two games.”

After Saturday’s opener against Scotland the BLACKCAPS take on South Africa at Lord’s on Tuesday.  As long as they win one of those matches the side will progress to the Super 8 stage.

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