Both New Zealand and South Africa have crumbled in tight situations, especially if its a world cup tournament. South Africa has never been to the finals of the World Cup, and New Zealand reached it only once despite being in the semis for seven times. The last time they met in the World Cup was in 2015, and that was a semi-final.
Before the World Cup started, many predicted England, India, and Australia would reach the semis, but for the fourth team, most of them were confused between New Zealand and South Africa. The tournament is in its mid-stage and looking at the points table, Kiwis have more chances to reach the semis.
New Zealand has won all the three previous contests of this World Cup and shared a point with India due to a complete washout. The three wins came against the weaker teams, and they are yet to play a strong opposition. On current form, the Proteas cannot be called a strong team, but still, they have the fire to beat any team.
Kiwis have been excellent in all departments so far; especially their bowlers are enjoying the condition which is conducive for the seamers. Their batting has not been tested against a quality bowling attack, but still, Kiwis have a great batting line-up. A win here for them would mean they are almost through to the semi-finals.
South Africa has won its previous match against Afghanistan, keeping their hope alive for the knock out stage of the World Cup. They are in a situation where they have to win every game in the tournament, a loss here would mean they have to depend on other’s fortunes to reach the semis.
Rain is expected in the first half of the day, probably a late start with 40 overs a side match.
Players to watch out
Trent Boult is a big match winner and one of the most dangerous seam bowlers on rain-affected pitches. He has been very consistent in the tournament so far and Kiwis would be expecting him to rattle the Proteas top order.
Imran Tahir, the spin legend, would be hoping to continue his form, he is the leading wicket-taker for South Africa. Kiwis aren’t good against spin, so it would be interesting to see if Tahir gets the new ball to bowl for an early breakthrough.
New Zealand v South Africa in ODIs:
Overall: Matches 70, New Zealand Won 24, South Africa Won 41, No Result 5
World Cup: Matches 7, New Zealand Won 5, South Africa Won 2
Recent Form (most recent first): New Zealand W W W W W, South Africa W NR L L L
ICC Rankings: New Zealand (3), South Africa (4)
Martin Guptill has scored 907 runs in World Cup and needs 93 more to become the second New Zealand player to reach the 1,000 runs milestone.
Williamson needs one more to reach fifty 50-plus scores in ODIs.
New Zealand: Kane Williamson (capt), Tom Blundell (wk), Trent Boult, Colin de Grandhomme, Lockie Ferguson, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Tom Latham (wk), Colin Munro, Jimmy Neesham, Henry Nicholls, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor.
South Africa: Faf du Plessis (capt), Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock (wk), JP Duminy, Beuran Hendricks, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Chris Morris, Lungi Ngidi, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Imran Tahir, Rassie van der Dussen.