World Cup 2019, Match 25, New Zealand vs South Africa: Why South Africa will win the match
South Africa had a rough start to their World Cup 2019 campaign but they regained their mojo in the last game against Afghanistan. Faf du Plessis' men proved why they are one of the best ODI teams in the world with their 9-wicket win over the Asian team.
Imran Tahir and Quinton de Kock were the top performers for the Proteas, and the team as a while will go into their next match against the undefeated New Zealand with a bit more confidence than before.
New Zealand had won their first three matches of the tournament but they have not played a single match in the last 10 days. Their last fixture against India was abandoned because of rain; their last completed match was versus Afghanistan, a match which Kane Williamson's men won by seven wickets.
It can be said that South Africa have are more match-ready than New Zealand heading into this encounter. Another point to be noted here is that New Zealand have not faced any of the premier teams of the tournament, which suggests that their 100 percent win record is not as big an achievement as it seems.
South Africa are likely to get a huge boost as their fast bowler Lungi Ngidi is expected to re-join the team for this match. Meanwhile, Tahir has regained his rhythm with a four-wicket haul against Afghanistan, he could well have have a great outing against New Zealand too.
Also, Chris Morris bowled with great accuracy against the Blue Tigers. He would be raring to create more trouble for the likes of Ross Taylor, Martin Guptill and Colin Munro.
In case South Africa bat first, De Kock and Du Plessis would need to ensure that they play big innings and take the team's score to a minimum of 300. Anything above 300 would give South Africa a significant edge over New Zealand as they have the bowlers who can stop the opposition batsmen.
If New Zealand get the chance to bat first, the likes of Rabada, Ngidi and Tahir will have to ensure that the Kiwis do not exceed the 250-run mark because the Proteas tend to crumble under pressure while chasing big totals. It will be difficult to chase 270-280 with the pace trio of Trent Boult, Matt Henry and Lockie Ferguson leading New Zealand's bowling attack.
All South Africa need to do is execute their plans appropriately and play to their potential. If they manage to do that, they would likely prove to be too strong for New Zealand.
Also read – Lowest team total in world cupPublished 18 Jun 2019, 16:53 IST