About the Match
It finally boils down to this with all teams playing on the final league stage day. Eight teams, four different matches, some fighting it out to avoid the wooden spoon and some for a spot in final four. India and New Zealand belong to the latter category and will lock horns in the match being perceived as a virtual quarter-final. The match is set to be played at County Ground, Derby on 15th July at 9:30 pm local time. With South Africa, England, and Australia already through to the semis, only one spot is up for grabs and the match between the two sides will settle it soon.
India started off their campaign in a clinical fashion as they rocked England in their opening game. They then went on to win four games on the trot against West Indies, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan respectively. Their march came to the halt when they faced South Africa and their performance dipped further in their match against Australia.
Although India featured the World's highest wicket taker and World's best batswoman and it was validated in the first four games of the tournament, as a team they failed when pitted against two of the most ruthless sides of the tournament. Almost everyone in the batting lineup has got some runs, but runs have either come at a slow tempo or when there was no support from the other side which never allowed a big partnership to flourish.
India would have to do well against one of the pre-tournament favorites in order to qualify. New Zealand have a known weakness against spin bowlers, but for that to materialize, the bowlers would have to bowl extremely well.
New Zealand could have been in the semis had their game against South Africa not been washed out. That didn't happen and here they are up against arguably the best team in the first half of the tournament.
New Zealand haven't actually done that bad in the competition. Their only losses have come against Australia and England which was the expected outcome. All their players have been amongst the runs with almost all players collectively doing well. Suzie Bates' batting has been vital in their wins and they'd be looking for another responsible knock from her.
Bowlers too have done well for Kiwis with their spinners Amelia Kerr and Leigh Kasperek have done extremely well in spite of having just the little experience of playing in big tournaments. The last time New Zealand played at this venue, they had to suffer a heavy 75-runs defeat from England. Should that happen again, New Zealand would have to make an early exit from the tournament.
It has been a happy hunting ground for Indians with a cent percent win record at this venue in this tournament. New Zealand's fate hasn't been good at this ground as they shared the points with South Africa where they could have won comfortably. Rain could once again play spoilsports and New Zealand may well have to face another washout. Considering the recent numbers and New Zealand's poor batting record against quality spin make India make it to the semis.