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ICC Cricket World Cup: New Zealand braced for Bangladesh challenge

Hamilton: Wicketkeeper Luke Ronchi warned New Zealand not to under-estimate fellow quarter-finalists Bangladesh when they meet Friday with the Asian side desperate for a win which could help them avoid facing champions India.

Co-hosts New Zealand have already qualified for the last-eight as Pool A table-toppers with ten points from five wins while Bangladesh made the quarter-finals for the first time with a shock win over England on Monday.

Bangladesh currently occupy third place in the table but are likely to be overtaken later Wednesday when Sri Lanka, also through to the knockout rounds, tackle winless Scotland.

The fourth-placed team will take on India, who have five wins in five, for a spot in the semi-finals.

"They are playing some good cricket and they have lost just one game so far in the World Cup," said Ronchi.

"They are consistent and playing well and winning games so we have to be on our money to beat them and play well."

Bangladesh, who can include four capable spinners in their starting side, defeated England with pace and swing in Adelaide with their fastest bowler Rubel Hossain taking four wickets in their dramatic 15-run triumph.

"The thing obviously is that it doesn`t turn as much in New Zealand as in Bangladesh. It could still be a force for them but it`s not as big a force as we play in New Zealand and if it spins we have to work through it," added Ronchi.

Asked if New Zealand will be motivated enough to face Bangladesh after already guaranteeing top spot in the table, Ronchi replied: "It`s a World Cup and you are playing for your country so if you need more motivation than that you probably shouldn`t be here. Everybody will be up for it."

Ronchi, 33, also insisted that he has no real fears over his patchy batting form at the World Cup where he has scored 29 not out against Sri Lanka, 12 facing Scotland and six in the thrilling one-wicket win over Australia.

He never got the opportunity to bat against England and Afghanistan.

"We are doing well in batting and I am not complaining at all as I am hitting them in the nets and enjoying that stuff," said Ronchi.

The wicketkeeper/batsman praised New Zealand`s bowling attack led by Tim Southee and Trent Boult who both have 13 wickets at the tournament as well as veteran Daniel Vettori (12 wickets).

"I think the consistency and self-belief is growing more and more and Tim and Trent are both Test bowlers, one-day bowlers and they bowl together. They are getting better and better."

Ronchi said New Zealand were not thinking of the quarter-final at Wellington on March 21 where their opponents are still to be decided with Pakistan, Ireland and West Indies remaining in the shake-up.

"The quarter-finals are still a week and a half away, so you don`t think too far ahead.

"Outside of cricket we are pretty relaxed and do other things, so far it`s been good game to game but obviously the quarter-final will be a massive game for us, a knock-out match and if we lose it`s all over."

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