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New Zealand v West Indies Cricket World Cup Quarter-Final Preview and Tips - Blackcaps to make the semis

Suneer Chowdhary 20 Mar 2015
  • New Zealand and West Indies battle it out in the quarter-finals
  • The Blackcaps are favourites to make it to the last four
  • The two sides are shared six games 3-3 at World Cups
Brendon McCullum of New Zealand bats

New Zealand take on West Indies in the final quarter-final of the Cricket World Cup in Wellington on Saturday.


Tournament co-hosts the Blackcaps are red-hot favourites to progress to the last four when they face the enigmatic West Indies at Westpac.

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



Preview

The way New Zealand have gone about their business in this World Cup has been reminiscent of their performances in the 1992 World Cup. Then, they won seven of the eight pool games before losing the semi-final to Pakistan. That will be their hope, to not go down on a one-off day to a freakish performance by their opponents. 

Making it more memorable has been their win over Australia in what was expected to be their biggest challenge and while the Black Caps did manage to almost make a hash of it, they came out on top in a thriller. That game aside, New Zealand have almost swept past their opponents, beating Sri Lanka by 98 runs and England by almost 38 overs to spare.

West Indies are lucky to be here. They started off poorly with a defeat to Ireland, then crushed Pakistan, ran India close, were brushed aside by South Africa and were punishing against Zimbabwe. What these inconsistent set of performances meant was that going into their final group game, they not only needed to beat UAE but also ensure they did that with plenty to spare to make the quarter-finals. They did it with ease.

However, as has been in display so far, when faced with a relatively easier opponent, West Indies find it easy to fire but in the face of some stringent attacks, they have fallen away. So unless the Kiwi likes of Tim Southee, Trent Boult and company have a seriously poor day with the ball, this match could be headed in one direction alone.

New Zealand are not a side that likes to chop and change too much and that is reflected by the fact there has been just one change to their side the whole of tournament. That came in their final group game against Bangladesh when they wanted to rest Adam Milne and brought in Mitchell McClenaghan into the side.



So unless there are any last minute injuries, New Zealand will go in with the same line-up that has played throughout the tournament. 

What's been interesting to note is that because of the way the Kiwi bowlers have bowled, the batsmen haven't had much to do and their best man from the top-order has been Martin Guptill, who has scored just 261 runs. He is outside the top 20 run-scorers in the tournament. So is Brendon McCullum who has 257 to his name. 

West Indies will need to look at Chris Gayle's fitness but the question is who will they drop if he does make it back to the starting XI. His replacement for the UAE game was Johnson Charles who impressed everyone in their match against UAE with a 55 while Gayle himself has scored just 64 runs from four matches apart from that 215 against Zimbabwe.

It's Dwayne Smith's position which could be in for bit of trouble as he has had scores of 18, 23, 0, 31, 6 and 15 over the tournament. Clearly a case for a axe?

Six matches between the two teams at World Cups have resulted in both West Indies and New Zealand winning three apiece. 

Predictions

New Zealand to win 
Brendon McCullum to top-score for New Zealand
Darren Sammy to top-score for West Indies


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New Zealand v West Indies Cricket World Cup Quarter-Final Preview and Tips - Blackcaps to make the semis

New Zealand take on West Indies in the final quarter-final of the Cricket World Cup in Wellington on Saturday.

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