World Cup 2019, New Zealand vs South Africa (NZ vs SA) Buildup: South Africa will look to avenge their 2015 semifinal defeat while New Zealand will aim to reclaim their position at the top when the two sides clash in a ICC Men Cricket World Cup match in Birmingham on Wednesday. South Africa, who suffered a heartbreaking loss to New Zealand in the last edition, had a dismal start to their World Cup campaign, losing three straight games followed by a wash-out before registering their maiden win against bottom-placed Afghanistan.
In contrast, New Zealand are yet to face defeat in the tournament and are lying second on the table with three wins and a washout. Injuries to pacers Dale Steyn and Anrich Norje have hurt the South African bowling unit severely. Injuries to pacers Dale Steyn and Anrich Norje have hurt the South African bowling unit severely. With Ngidi fully fit and the team finally tasting victory, skipper Faf du Plessis will breathe a sigh of relief.
World Cup 2019, New Zealand vs South Africa Buildup:
SA Probable XI
Probable XI: 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
NZ Probable XI
Probable XI: Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, Kane Williamson (c), Ross Taylor, Tom Latham (wk), James Neesham, Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Matt Henry, Ish Sodhi/Lockie Ferguson, Trent Boult
Guptill a record away
Birmingham: Strong sporting heritage
#CWC19 has arrived in Birmingham for #NZvSA!— Cricket World Cup (@cricketworldcup) June 19, 2019
The city has a strong sporting heritage; the Football League was formed in Birmingham & lawn tennis was invented in a back garden in Edgbaston, just down the road from the cricket stadium!
Good but not good enough
On paper, it may appear to be a match-up between two teams notorious for bottling it on big occasions. South Africa, despite being favourites almost every time since 1992, have never gone past the semi-final stage. New Zealand have made the last-four stage on six occasions, including in 2015 when they reached the final (beating South Africa).
Not edgy in Edgbaston
Proteas are in the last chance saloon, but there is no such desperation evident on the official Cricket South Africa Twitter handle. If South Africa don’t get the right result on Wednesday, they will have plenty of time to indulge in these pursuits anyway.
Quiz night, lounging at pubs, birthday cakes
It’s been more than 10 days since New Zealand last played at the World Cup and the players have been coming up with creative ways to ensure boredom doesn’t creep in.Coach Gary Stead gave all players a couple of days off to spend with their wives and kids, and recharge themselves before Wednesday’s big game against South Africa.
Unseen by the world that never misses a chance to call their players chokers, the harshest blow the Proteas suffered at the World Cup 2015 was dealt by their administrators back home. It’s easy to blame Dale Steyn for bowling the length ball that Grant Elliot hit for six but Cricket South Africa made a more crucial false move much before the toss. South African had won their quarter-final by 9 wickets, and while in the best of spirits, till the the team dinner, a bombshell from Johannesburg, was to follow.
The last time SA beat NZ in WC
The last time the Proteas got past the Black Caps in World Cups was a whole 20 years ago — at Birmingham, Wednesday’s venue, back in the 1999 edition. Having been dumped out in knockouts in 2011 and 2015 at the hands of the Kiwis – middle-order batting collapses the hallmark of those exits – the 1999 Super Six game too saw a mini middle wobble, though skipper Hansie Cronje was around to steer his team in a strong batting lineup of Gibbs, Kirsten and Kallis, despite a rare Klusener miss.
The Brummie Returns
For a team considered perennial favourites at every edition save this one, South Africa seem to falter far too often against unlikely arch nemesis New Zealand. While 2003 saw the familiar rains undo their 300-plus target, both 2007 and 2011 (quarterfinals at Dhaka) were dull batting implosions, like the thudding of a cotton sack to the floor – capitulations minus a whimper. READ MORE
1992: A Doomed Love Story
Two semifinals ended in heart-break in the 1992 edition, where South Africa debuted at the World Cup after returning to international cricket post their apartheid ban, and lost on the inglorious rain rule. Elsewhere, Martin Crowe was about to be swept in lucklessness and the furius flood called Inzamam, when after scoring 91 and pulling his hamstring, his dream vamoozed. READ MORE
NZ vs SA
We move to Wednesday when New Zealand play South Africa in Cricket World Cup clash in Birmingham. We bring you all the live action on and off the field as well as the predicted playing xi