About the Match
South Africa find itself facing yet another must-win match against New Zealand at Eden Park. The fifth match of the series has turned into a ‘final’ as is being called by the contestants and both sides will be keen to win and gain confidence before the Champions Trophy.
5th ODI Preview
How much difference can one man make? A hell of a lot, if that man is Martin Guptill. The New Zealand opener came back from Injury in astonishing fashion and scored 180 not out to lead his side to victory. The result also showed that New Zealand continues to be one of the most dangerous limited over sides on their day, especially in conditions that have a little something for their bowlers.
The New Zealand fans will be hoping for some more Martin Guptill magic in the final match of the series and we think there is a good chance of that happening. Guptill has been among the top 2 batsmen in the ODI format since the 2015 World Cup and tends to make the most of good form.
Back him to score another big score, possibly 70 plus, in this match.
The other two batsmen that are crucial to this New Zealand team include Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor. The latter seems to have rediscovered some magical touch after getting his eye operation out of the way, while Williamson can be counted on to contribute more often than not.
The New Zealand batting lower order, namely Neesham and de Grandhomme, have been in good form and now with the top order shaping up, New Zealand look likely to hold their own in a potentially high-scoring match.
Trent Boult is a man for the big occasions and will be our bowler to watch out for to take the most wickets. Jeetan Patel is unlikely to be picked for this match and we expect Matt Henry to get a look in.
Expected Playing Eleven
Guptill, D. Brownlie, K. Williamson (C), R. Taylor, J. Neesham, L. Ronchi (wk), de Grandhomme, M. Santner, T. Southee, M. Henry, T. Boult
South Africa will lose their number one ranking after this series irrespective of whether they win the last match or not. They will, however, be desperate to bury the ghost of Eden Park. It was something that the captain mentioned before the series began.
Putting this much focus on the final match of the series has raised the staked for South Africa and put them into a position that they are not the most comfortable with. Must-Win matches. Of course, this is not a major tournament like the World Cup or Champions Trophy, however, there would definitely be some nervous flutters in their stomachs.
The batting for South Africa has not performed up to the level that it is capable of. In fact, de Villers and the lower middle order have been bailing out the South African team on a regular basis. If the star-studded top order can come to the party in this match then they could run away with the match easily.
Quinton de Kock has been getting starts without going on to get a big one and we would be wary of backing him against this New Zealand team that seems to have his measure. Amla looked in brilliant touch before throwing it away in the last match and could be backed to get a fifty-plus score.
The other batsman that has been doing well consistently is de Villiers and we think he could get another big score this time around. Back him to get the highest score from the South African side
. The form of Duminy and Miller could make all the difference though especially if South Africa find themselves in a tight spot while chasing.
Both of them are class players and should be able to come good sooner rather than later. Miller, though, can get stuck in a rut of bad form for a long while and that is something punters should be wary of.
Phehlukwyayo could be back in for Miller, although we would personally like to see Morris retain his place.
Expected Playing Eleven
Amla, de Kock (wk), du Plessis, AB de Villiers (Ct), JP Duminy, D. Miller, D. Pretorius, W. Parnell, A. Phehlukwayo, K. Rabada, I. Tahir
The pitch at Aukland is expected to be the best for batting seen in the series up until now. Rain could also play a part. With the galaxy of batting stars at their disposal, we think South Africa is likely to put to rest the demons of Eden Park and win this match.
Back South Africa to win.
Winner: South Africa, 1.64 @ Bet on South Africa now