South Africa is in a desperate situation for a win as they take on New Zealand in Match 25 of ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 at Edgbaston in Birmingham on Wednesday.
South Africa has had a woeful start to their World Cup campaign, having suffered 3 defeats on the trot before securing 3 points from their next two games. Faf du Plessis’ men cannot afford any more slip-ups if they are to keep their slim chances of making the World Cup semi-finals alive.
Ahead of what is a repeat of World Cup 2015 semi-final, South Africa opener Quinton de Kock said the Proteas are looking at Wednesday’s match as a virtual quarter-final.
“Tomorrow is a quarter-final, I guess you could say it. But if we do win it, it’s another big game again… We have to win all the games, not just focus on tomorrow. But in saying that, we know how good New Zealand are playing at the moment. They are a big team in World Cups. They always seem to step up, so it’s going to be a tough one anyway,” De Kock said.
On the other hand, New Zealand will be looking to inch one step closer to the semi-final spot after a brilliant start to their campaign. The Black Caps are heading into Wednesday’s match after an 11-day break as their previous game against India on June 13 was washed out without a ball being bowled.
South Africa vs New Zealand: Recent form
South Africa may have struggled to get off the mark in the World Cup but the Proteas clinched a dominant win over Afghanistan in their previous World Cup 2019 match on Saturday in Cardiff. Quinton de Kock and Hashim Amla showed glimpses of a return to form as South Africa won by 9 wickets (DLS) wicket. Imran Tahir stole the show with the ball, picking up 4 wickets as Afghanistan were bowled out for 125.
South Africa has 3 points from 5 matches and are reeling at the 8th spot of the 10-team table.
On the contrary, New Zealand is sitting comfortably at the 2nd spot with 3 wins from 4 matches. Kane Williamson’s men had started the campaign with wins over Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan before the washout against India.
Edgbaston in Birmingham is hosting its first World Cup 2019 match on Wednesday. The wicket at Edgbaston has traditionally offered a lot of assistance for the batsmen. However, pace bowlers are expected to make good use of the overcast conditions but spinners will play a role as well.
Desperate South Africa are boosted by the return of pacer Lungi Ngidi who was injured in South Africa’s loss to Bangladesh on June 2. Faf du Plessis’ men will take confidence from their win over Afghanistan but in-form New Zealand should provide them with a stiff test.
It will be interesting to see how New Zealand perform after their 11-day break. Moreover, New Zealand hasn’t faced a top-four team yet but expect them to beat South Africa today.
New Zealand vs South Africa: Predicted playing XIs
New Zealand: Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, Kane Williamson (c), Ross Taylor, Tom Latham (wk), James Neesham, Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Matt Henry, Ish Sodhi/Lockie Ferguson, Trent Boult
South Africa: Quinton de Kock (wk), Hashim Amla, Aiden Markram, Faf du Plessis (c), Rassie van der Dussen, David Miller, Andile Phehlukwayo, Chris Morris, Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi, Imran Tahir