It is a repeat of the 2015 World Cup semi-final as New Zealand and South Africa play on Wednesday in match #25 of the 2019 ICC World Cup. This match will be played in Edgbaston, Birmingham. A lot is riding on the result of the game, which could be crucial for both the teams.
The Kiwis are close to the top of the points tally and are nearing another World Cup semis berth. For the Proteas, this is a ‘do-or-die’ match. Anything less than a win will knock them out of the top-four race. With not much going for them this tournament, South Africa are surely under pressure ahead of this match. To make it worse, they haven’t beaten New Zealand in the World Cups since 1999.
New Zealand Preview
This has been a classic tournament for New Zealand. They don’t have a batsman in the top-10 batters and no one in the top-five bowlers. Still, the Kiwis remain one of the only two sides to remain unbeaten so far this edition.
Seven points in four games mean that the Kiwis are on the verge of booking their semis spot. However, with England and Australia still to come, New Zealand wouldn’t want to leave things late.
South Africa Preview
With just three points and a poor NRR (-0.208), South Africa sit third from bottom. They might not progress with 100% wins from here on, but will surely be knocked out with a loss. Injuries have wreaked havoc in the Proteas camp, although the return of Lungi Ngidi could be a timely bonus.
A poor top-order, however, puts their chances under doubt. Barring Quinton de Kock, none of the batsmen are showing their worth. With such a crucial game coming up, South Africa will hope that they can come good.
Fantasy Players to Watch
Quinton de Kock has been in good form for South Africa. He has two fifties in five innings so far at an average of 46.50.
Ross Taylor has been New Zealand’s best batsman over the last four years. He has scores of 82 and 48 in the two innings that he batted so far.
Trent Boult has just three wickets this tournament, but has looked in good form. He will look to come good against South Africa.
Ish Sodhi could come into contention for New Zealand.
New Zealand: 1 Colin Munro 2 Martin Guptill 3 Kane Williamson (C) 4 Ross Taylor 5 Tom Latham (WK) 6 James Neesham 7 Mitchell Santner 8 Matt Henry 9 Lockie Ferguson 10 Ish Sodhi 11 Trent Boult
JP Duminy and Ngidi could be in contention for South Africa.
South Africa: 1 Quinton de Kock (WK) 2 Hashim Amla 3 Aiden Markram 4 Faf du Plessis (C) 5 Rassie van der Dussen 6 JP Duminy 7 Andile Phehlukwayo 8 Chris Morris 9 Kagiso Rabada 10 Lungi Ngidi 11 Imran Tahir
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