About the Match
With the top four teams lined up against each other for the semi-finals, the competition is set to get fierce as co-hosts New Zealand take on South Africa in the first match on 24th March at Auckland. All the quarterfinal contests ended up as one-sided matches but from here on, the fight will be more evenly balanced and we are sure to witness memorable cricketing feats that will take two of the best teams to the finals, one of which will be the winner of the upcoming game on Tuesday. It needs to be seen if the Kiwis can leverage the home advantage and create history or if the Proteas can finally redeem themselves and make it to the center-stage.
Winning the knock-out against West Indies by 143 runs, the New Zealand batting line-up looks invincible thanks to Martin Guptill, who posted a brilliantly created unbeaten 237 off 163 balls to seal victory. His double century was well-crafted with 11 sixes and 24 fours, making it the second highest in ODI history and also the highest score for any batsman in a world cup. With match-winners like Brendon McCullum, Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor and Corey Anderson, the team has proved to be one of the best with the bat. They have the deadly trio of pace attack with Trent Boult, Tim Southee and Adam Milne along with established wicket-takers like Daniel Vettori, Kyle Mills and Corey Anderson. The Kiwis are the fastest on the field, stopping the singles and two’s with ease and have always demonstrated firm hands when it comes to taking catches; these qualities and a never-say-die attitude makes New Zealand a formidable force to reckon with. New Zealand will feature in a world cup semi-final for the seventh time, never having made it to the finals; but this team has success written all over it, and can create history for the first time on Tuesday.
The bowlers worked hard against the Lankan batsmen and their efforts yielded sweet victory, eliminating the choker tag that they had earned over the years due to their repeated failures in knock-out games. They will go up against New Zealand with the best foot forward; Imran Tahir’s 4-26 against Lanka shows the spinner’s determination to give his team the required advantage and he will be in the driver’s seat against the Kiwis too. Along with Duminy, who took 3-29, the bowling unit looks well prepared to take the opposition by surprise; the pace attack is strong with Dale Steyn, Kyle Abbott and Morne Morkel taking wickets consistently. The batting line-up is deep and has started to look positive in crunch situations; Quinton’s return to form is good news and his unbeaten 78 off 57 against Lanka exhibited the youngster’s will to do well. AB de Villiers has been consistent with runs and along with players like Rilee Rossouw, Amla, David Miller and JP Duminy, the team looks geared up against the Kiwi pace attack. They will need to be mentally strong and take on the hosts with everything to emerge victorious.
It will be a tough contest on Tuesday as both teams have well-balanced sides and the experience; the Kiwis have the home advantage and have performed better in this tournament, however, the Proteas seem to be peaking just at the right time which in our opinion gives them a little edge and makes them well placed to win this match and move into the finals.
South Africa, 1.72 @ Bet365
This edition of Cricket World has already witnessed many high scoring encounters and much of the credit goes to steady start in first six overs. The Kiwis have looked to start aggressively so as to take advantage of field restrictions whereas the proteas look to get in and take after settling in. We think that the home team will have more runs after first fifteen overs.
Highest Score in first 15 Overs:
New Zealand, 1.72 @ Bet365