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New Zealand v South Africa Cricket World Cup Semi-Final Preview and Tips - Thriller in store in Auckland

Suneer Chowdhary 23 Mar 2015
  • South Africa take on co-hosts New Zealand for a place in the final
  • The Proteas start as favourites to win the semi-final showdown
  • New Zealand have won four of the last six meetings at Cricket World Cups
New Zealand will look to win through to the final

New Zealand and South Africa clash in the first of the Cricket World Cup semi-finals in Auckland on Tuesday.

The Proteas, who won their first-ever World Cup knockout game to reach the last four, are favourites but face a stern test from the tournament co-hosts.

The match gets underway at 12.00pm AEDT (2.00pm local time) and will be broadcast live on Fox Sports in Australia. Coverage is also available online.


Preview

Having won their first ever World Cup knockout game since returning to the sporting fold, South Africa will be a team full of confidence. They have made it to the semi-finals of World Cup cricket on three previous occasions but never have they entered the final, and that will give them an added incentive to get there.

Of course, it won't be easy. New Zealand, along with India, are the only two teams in the competition to make it to the semi-finals unbeaten, and it's not because of a fluke. New Zealand's batting has been nearly insurmountable but whatever little they have lacked in it has been more than made up through their bowling.

South Africa showed a vintage bowling performance to make it through to the semi-final, thrashing the living daylights out of Sri Lanka in their quarter-final. They bowled Lanka out for 133 and then achieved the target for one wicket in 18 overs.

Martin Guptill's 237 helped New Zealand through to nearly 400 in their quarter-final and West Indies were left with no chance but to go after the strong Kiwi bowling; they didn't get close to the target.

South Africa seemed to have found a good balance between bat and ball in their previous game thanks to the hat-trick by JP Duminy but it will be interesting to see if they go in with the same line-up. Usually teams refuse to change things around before a big game like this but against a side like New Zealand and at a ground where the boundaries aren't too long, Duminy's part-time spin might go for a few runs.



The other option for South Africa is bring in Farhaan Behardien as a bits and pieces batting all-rounder or go for a full-time pace bowling option in Vernon Philander. Philander was dropped from the side for the quarter-final, so it will be interesting to see how that goes.

New Zealand will be forced to make at least one change. Adam Milne suffered an injury in his quarter-final game and he will be replaced by another quick - mostly it will be Mitchell McClenaghan, although they do have the option of Kyle Mills too. McClenaghan was brought in for one of the games but went for a few runs while Mills had a good lead-up to the tournament.

It started off as low-scoring pitch in the tournament, but as the tournament has gone on, the runs have begun to flow. The first match saw Australia nearly defend 151 against New Zealand, before India chased down 288 against Zimbabwe in the previous one. Expect a very high-scoring contest here.

New Zealand have got the better of South Africa on four of the last six occasions the two sides have met at the Cricket World Cup and can enhance that record. 

Predictions

New Zealand to win
Brendon McCullum to top-score for New Zealand
AB de Villiers to top-score for South Africa


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New Zealand v South Africa Cricket World Cup Semi-Final Preview and Tips - Thriller in store in Auckland

New Zealand and South Africa clash in the first of the Cricket World Cup semi-finals in Auckland on Tuesday.

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