The game of the week in the ICC Cricket World Cup sees the unbeaten New Zealand facing off against South Africa on Wednesday night from 7.30pm!
We have a full preview and betting tips for the blockbuster game below!
It’s a must win game for the Proteas as they currently sit on just three points through their opening five games. New Zealand can remain undefeated and take top spot on the round robin table with a win.
It’s hard to faulter New Zealand’s start to the 2019 Cricket World Cup. Through their opening four games they have three wins while their match against India was abandoned due to rain. Granted, the Black Caps have played arguably the three easiest teams in the competition in Afghanistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in their opening three games, and should get their first real test against South Africa on Wednesday.
It’s been the New Zealand bowlers that have gotten the job done in their three wins so far. They restricted Sri Lanka to just 136 in their first game, which they chased down without losing a wicket. They then went on to restrict Bangladesh to just 244 and Afghanistan to 172 in their next two games.
Paceman Lochie Ferguson has been the pick of the bowlers throughout the first three games, racking up 9 wickets at a fantastic average of just12.37, the lowest of any player with 3+ wickets in the World Cup so far.
Matt Henry, James Neesham and Trent Boult have all been great as well, which should make it tough for selectors to find room for paceman Tim Southee in the line-up for Wednesday night. The batting line-up hasn’t had much to do over the three wins and should remain the same with Martin Guptill, Colin Munroe, Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor carrying the bulk of the load.
It has been a tournament to forget so far for South Africa as they sit on just three points from their opening five games. Losing games to England and India is reasonable but the South Africans also dropped a game to Bangladesh and were washed out in their contest against the West Indies.
South Africa finally got their first win on the board in their fifth game of the tournament, defeating Afghanistan by nine wickets on the Duckworth/Lewis method last Saturday night.
The batting strength has been a real issue for the South Africans so far. They mustered just 207 in their opening game against England and just 227 against India in Game 3. Quinton de Cock is playing a lone hand at the top of the order and will need to get more help from the likes of Hashim Amla and captain Faf du Plessis if they have any hopes of qualifying for the finals.
At the start of the tournament, we assumed that Australia, England and India would take out the top three spots on the round robin table and the fourth spot would be fought for between New Zealand and South Africa.
The Black Caps have taken a clear lead in that race, however, due to the strength of opponents in their respective games so far, we think these two nations are much more evenly matched than their records suggest.
New Zealand start as slight favourites here but we are actually edging towards the Proteas. Fast bowler Lungi Ngidi will return to the line-up after battling injury through the last few games and should recreate the dynamic paceman duo with Kagiso Rabada on an Edgbaston pitch that is yet to be played on in this tournament.
We also think Lockie Ferguson, who is arguably the fastest bowler at the World Cup, might struggle to have the affect on the South African batting line-up that he did on the likes of Afghanistan and Bangladesh.
Back the value in the South Africans.
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