India and Kenya keep watch on the weather

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The Independent Online

Rain is threatening to wreck today's World Cup semi-final between India and Kenya after the Durban area was engulfed by thunderstorms yesterday.

The KwaZulu-Natal region was drenched on the eve of the match that will decide who will meet the defending champions, Australia, in Sunday's final at the Wanderers in Johannesburg. Bad weather was forecast to continue today and possibly tomorrow, the scheduled reserve day for the semis. If a result is not possible here, India will advance because of their win over the Kenyans in the Super Six round.

"One can't go into the match getting too worried about the weather, but we'll handle any situation that might develop," said the Indian captain, Sourav Ganguly.

Sandeep Patil is the only person figuring in this semi-final who was involved the last time India took part in a World Cup final. Patil, who scored the winning runs in a 1983 semi-final against England and then was part of Kapil Dev's Cup-winning team, is trying to prevent the Indians from progressing to the title match this time.

As coach of Kenya, he is hoping the semi-final goes ahead under rain clouds. If rain interrupts play and overs are reduced, it will give his minnows a chance in the slog overs. "We've no control over the weather, but we'd like to play on Thursday itself. We are prepared for the game," Patil said.

Kenya, facing the biggest match of their lives, have injury problems, with the all-rounders Maurice Odumbe and Thomas Odoyo, the wicketkeeper Kennedy Otieno and the bowler Martin Suji all struggling to be fit.