South Africa have their best opportunity for redemption when they take on New Zealand at Mirpur, having been beaten at the same stage in the world cup by the Kiwis previously. This time it’s a different story, though, as New Zealand isn’t quite the formidable force that they were back then. Even in this tournament, putting aside their win against Pakistan, they have looked unimpressive against the higher ranked teams. However, one good day could see them marching straight into the semi-finals and nothing could do better for the Kiwis than that.
Most runs scored
To say it straight, The Proteas are a complete side. The only little problem for them is the form of Graeme Smith but he is still doing a pretty good job holding the partnership together with Amla, for a bit. Everyone else in that batting line-up is amongst the runs and the fact that their batting ends at number 9 is intimidating in itself.
The Kiwi batting hasn’t done too badly either. McCullum has runs behind him and Guptill has had a great tour. Ryder has got off to starts and strung together partnerships whenever he is at the crease; but that big score is still eluding him and it might come against South Africa. Taylor looks good. The middle order has blown hot and cold but is not completely unreliable. Kane Williamson hasn’t done his potential any good although some might argue that he is batting too low down the order. All in all if South Africa is the strongest all-round batting team in the tournament, New Zealand isn’t too far behind.
Available odds: Amla @ 4.33; Kallis/Smith/de Villiers @ 5.00;McCullum/Taylor/Guptill @ 4.50; Ryder @ 5.50
that_guy’s picks: de Villiers @ 5.00; Taylor @ 4.50
I’ve said it over and over that South Africa boast of the best bowling attack in the world at the moment and this match will be yet another routine demolition exercise for them. However, will they be able to pull off a demolition of the Kiwis? Steyn, Morkel and Tahir are definitely capable of doing that. Peterson has been a surprise package too and he is the leading wicket-taker for South Africa, believe it or not!
New Zealand suffered another blow after they lost Bennett to injury. Mills was already on the injury table and with Bennett gone, New Zealand’s bowling power looks halved. But the return of Daniel Vettori will give them a boost. Southee has done well and has led from the front and Nathan McCullum is invaluable as a spinning all-rounder, in that lower order and with Mirpur playing the way it has, the spinners might have a HUGE role to play. If it does, New Zealand can cause some damage.
Available odds: Steyn @ 3.50; Tahir @ 4.00; Morkel @ 4.50; Peterson @ 5.00; Vettori @ 3.50; Southee @ 4.33; McCullum/Tuffey @ 6.00
that_guy’s picks: Tahir @ 4.00; Vettori @ 3.50
This is an interesting one to call. The Kiwis never go down without trying and the occasion that the world cup quarter final is, might compel them to play out of their skins. However, on skill, it’s all South Africa and the safer money will green in colour.
Available odds: South Africa @ 1.36; New Zealand @ 3.00
that_guy’s pick: South Africa @ 1.36
[All odds taken from 888sport]