New Zealand will face South Africa at Birmingham on Wednesday. As the Blackcaps look to prolong their winning streak, South Africa will hope for another win to keep their semifinal hopes alive.
New Zealand go through to the final as South Africa choke again.
Four years on, these two teams meet again in the grand stage but on very different grounds. While there was a final as the prize last time, this time it’s different for both teams. New Zealand are yet to be beaten in this tournament, with three wins and a washout, claiming seven points. On the other hand, South Africa are on three points with a sole victory in their five matches. Their semifinal hopes are hanging on a thread and a defeat to the Blackcaps would blow them out of the tournament.
New Zealand are yet to concede defeat in this tournament, and without their match against Bangladesh, they hardly faced any competition. Tough matches are coming ahead, and New Zealand will look to grab another two points against this derailed South Africa, just to ensure an easier route to the semis. But this game has a completely different meaning for the Proteas as they are on the verge of elimination. They’ve accumulated only three points till now and sit eighth on the points table. A defeat against the Blackcaps would mean curtains for them, as nine points look to be inadequate for reaching the semis.
New Zealand always make the semis, and South Africa always manage to choke after reaching there. In the last two World Cups, New Zealand were the side South Africa managed to blow up their chances against, quarter final in 2011, semifinal in 2015. And here they are facing again, where a third defeat in a row for the South Africans would mean a hat trick of getting knocked out by New Zealand for them.
New Zealand are unlikely to make any changes to their lineup, with Colin Munro keeping his place on the team sheet and Tim Southee on the bench. Considering the conditions, Ish Sodhi might come in for Colin de Grandhomme to provide them with a bit of spin armory.
Probable Lineup - 1. Colin Munro, 2. Martin Guptill, 3. Kane Williamson (c), 4. Ross Taylor, 5. Tom Latham (wk), 6. James Neesham, 7. Mitchell Santner, 8. Colin de Grandhomme/Ish Sodhi, 9. Matt Henry, 10. Trent Boult, 11. Lockie Ferguson
Lungi Ngidi is fit, which means he is likely to replace Hendricks in the lineup. Tabraiz Shamsi might come in considering both the pitch and how New Zealand’s middle order froze against Bangladesh. JP Duminy might also be an option with his handy off-spin and stability in the middle overs.
Probable Lineup - 1. Quinton de Kock (wk), 2. Hashim Amla, 3. Aiden Markram, 4. Faf du Plessis (c), 5. Rassie van der Dussen, 6. David Miller/JP Duminy, 7. Andile Phehlukwayo, 8. Chris Morris/Tabraiz Shamsi, 9. Kagiso Rabada, 10. Lungi Ngidi, 11. Imran Tahir
Weather and Conditions
This will be the first match at Edgbaston, so expect a fresh pitch. There might be some turn in offer, and Tahir will look to capitalize it. The white looking pitch is expected to produce loads of runs, but it might be a bit slow which might encourage spinners.
The weather forecast expects the temperature to stay low during the match, with a rain probability of 24% at maximum throughout the day.