Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 July 2019

Cricket World Cup 2019: Can South Africa continue comeback against New Zealand?

We break down the group match between New Zealand and South Africa at Birmingham on Wednesday

What is it?

2019 World Cup group stage match

Who is playing?

New Zealand v South Africa

When is it?

Today, 1.30pm (UAE time) start

Where is it being played?

Edgbaston, Birmingham

How to watch in UAE?

Tune in to OSN Sports Cricket HD or create an online account with Wavo for US$54 (a little less than Dh200). The account will provide customers access to two channels, OSN Cric Xtra 1 and OSN Cric Xtra 2.

What’s their head-to-head like?

Matches: 70

New Zealand won: 24

South Africa won: 41

No result: 5

Form guide (past five games):

New Zealand: WWWWW

South Africa: WLLLW

What they said:

Trent Boult, New Zealand fast bowler, on the challenge of facing a team like South Africa: "It's a chance for us to go out there and perform and show we can bring the game and the style that we play back home in New Zealand very well, to test it against quality players in foreign conditions on a big stage, so we can't wait."

Quinton de Kock, South Africa opener, on where South Africa's focus will lie: "Tomorrow is a quarter-final, I guess you could say it, but if we do win it, then it's another big game again. We have to win all the games, not just focus on tomorrow. But in saying that, we know how good New Zealand are playing at the moment."

Likely XIs:

New Zealand: Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, Kane Williamson (c), Ross Taylor, Tom Latham (wk), James Neesham, Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Matt Henry, Lockie Ferguson, Trent Boult.

South Africa: Quinton de Kock (wk), Hashim Amla, Aiden Markram, Faf du Plessis (c), Rassie van der Dussen, David Miller, Andile Phehlukwayo, Chris Morris, Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi, Imran Tahir.

Summary:

The form book suggests New Zealand will win, but South Africa are showing signs of improvement and have enjoyed a superior head to head with the Black Caps. The Proteas are desperate for a win, too, which makes them a dangerous proposition for Kane Williamson's men.

The big news for South Africa will be the return of talented fast bowler Lungi Ngidi, who is fit again after injuring his hamstring.

Like in the case of India-Pakistan match at Old Trafford on Sunday, the captain who wins the toss might be tempted to bowl first given it is expected to be a cloudy start to the day with chances of some light rain showers.

But with it likely to become dry and bright over time, spin might come into play in the second half of the day so maybe batting first might be the sensible thing to do, if nothing else to get a decent total on the board and then apply pressure on the chasing team.

Table:

Updated: June 19, 2019 08:47 AM

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