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ICC Cricket World Cup 2019: South Africa, New Zealand to fight it out at Edgbaston

With a little drizzle expected as per the weather forecasts, the seam bowlers and the Duckworth Lewis Stern method may impact the result of the match and the captain’s call at the toss.

SNS | New Delhi |

In the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, Wednesday will witness South Africa and New Zealand fighting it out at the Edgbaston. When the Proteas take the field against New Zealand, they would look to keep their hopes of a World Cup semi-final place alive by defeating the opponent whom they couldn’t go past in the semifinals of 2015 World Cup.

New Zealand, meanwhile, are yet to be beaten in the tournament so far and would not like to lose the momentum at this stage of the World Cup. Kane Williamson-led Kiwis hold the second position in the points tally, while Proteas are at the eight spot with just a win under their belt.

South Africa finally got their campaign back on track with a win against Afghanistan after they had faced defeat in each of their first three games and their match against West Indies being washed out. Faf du Plessis and his men would now be eager to take the confidence from that win and stitch together a string of victories to proceed further in the tournament.

New Zealand, meanwhile, have hardly kept a foot wrong in this showpiece event. There are no Kiwi batsmen in the top 10 highest run-getters in the tournament, neither is there any Kiwi bowler in the highest wicket-takers list – no standout individual performers and yet the team stands out. The Kiwis are playing this World Cup as an impeccable unit and when the apt time comes, the standout performances will also come as such is the strength of the team.

South Africa’s dream of a World Cup was crashed by New Zealand in the semi-finals four years ago. On Wednesday, it is another virtual knockout match for South Africa and what better occasion to avenge the semi-final defeat. A win against a formidable New Zealand team might just be the tonic that can push South Africa over the line and give them the self-belief which they seem to be lacking.

Although injuries have hampered some of South Africa’s selection plans, Lungi Ngidi is expected to make a comeback in the Playing XI. However, it is their batting that has let them down on most occasions and South Africa will feel confident that finally Hashim Amla and Quinton de Kock got some runs in their previous encounter. Along with the opener, Faf du Plessis should also lead from the front and steer his team to a win in this all-important clash.

A lot will also depend on Imran Tahir’s performance as Edgbaston’ s surface is expected to offer turn.

New Zealand though, have more boxes ticked than otherwise and the only area which might concern them is the lack of form of their openers.

With a little drizzle expected as per the weather forecasts, the seam bowlers and the Duckworth Lewis Stern method may impact the result of the match and the captain’s call at the toss.

Live action begins from 3 pm (IST) onwards. The teams meet at the Edgbaston Cricket Ground.

Squads:

New Zealand: Kane Williamson(c), Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Colin Munro, Jimmy Neesham, Henry Nicholls, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Trent Boult, Colin de Grandhomme, Lockie Ferguson, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Tom Blundell

South Africa: Faf du Plessis (c), Aiden Markram, Quinton de Kock, Hashim Amla, Rassie van der Dussen, David Miller, Chris Morris, Andile Phehlukwayo, JP Duminy, Dwaine Pretorius, Beuran Hendricks, Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi, Imran Tahir, Tabraiz Shamsi