Semi-final – New Zealand versus South Africa

The last game of the Cricket World Cup in New Zealand will be played today at Eden Park – probably, it’s been raining in Auckland this morning and the current forecast is:

Cloudy with showers, clearing afternoon. Light northeast.

AucklandForecastCWCSemi

If the game can’t be completed today there is a reserve day tomorrow (“Long fine spells. Light winds.”)

This will be the last game for either New Zealand or South Africa, with the winner going to Melbourne for their first world cup final on Sunday.

South Africa is slightly favoured in odds at the TAB, that’s justified on their ranking with the top four playing off in the semis – Reliance ICC ODI Ranking:

  1. Australia 121
  2. India 116
  3. South Africa 113
  4. New Zealand 108

New Zealand has climbed the rankings over the last few months and has just got ahead of Sri Lanka.

On recent form the odds have evened somewhat with New Zealand having beaten South Africa in a pre-tournament warm-up game and won all seven games through the tournament while South Africa lost two pool games.

So it could easily go either way, depending on which team makes the least mistakes and most hits with both bat and ball.

Cricket games can ride on one great performance, like Martin Guptill’s supreme innings in the quarter final. Or on one weak link – New Zealand look likely to bring in a bowler who hasn’t participated in the tournament so far which raises the risks.

The Cricinfo preview says it’s too close to call in Who will be the World Cup’s newest first-time finalist?

Nine World Cup semi-finals, zero World Cup finals. New Zealand and South Africa are no strangers to the last four, but neither has ever experienced the ultimate shoot-out. That will change for one of the teams as Melbourne beckons for the winner.

Six months ago if you had asked for a prediction of this fixture it is likely that South Africa would have been favoured. Now the hosts can rightly be considered the smart money. At the very least, it is the too-close-to-call match-up that the contests should be at this stage of the tournament.

It’s a bugger about having to go to work today but at least it’s a day-night game starting at 2 pm so I’ll be able to watch the second innings.

Quotes:

“Any game you play, some get more nervous than others but the general feeling is that we can’t wait to get out there and test our skills against a very good South African team and in a crunch game. The way we dealt with the expectations of the last game should hold is us in reasonable stead.”
Brendon McCullum isn’t worried if some players are nervous

“It would be silly to focus too much on the cricket they’ve played. They’ve played really well but if we play to our full potential, no one is going to stop us. I need to make sure they are confident mentally and fresh physically.”
AB de Villiers keeps his focus on his own team rather than New Zealand

Leave a comment

4 Comments

  1. @Tess

     /  24th March 2015

    Bugger it, I’m going to ask the boss if I can go home early today to watch the game….

    Excellent!
    I just asked and I said yes..

    🙂 🙂

    Reply
  2. Cricinfo: game resumes at 6.45pm. Reduced to 43 overs a side. Five overs to go. Southee can bowl two, Henry one. Anderson and friends will have to bowl the remaining two. And only one over of Powerplay left.

    With only three wickets down SA could get a lot more runs. Could be chasing 270-300 runs in 43 overs.

    Reply
  3. Cricinfo: A reminder that whatever South Africa get will be adjusted. For example if they end up with 280, the revised target will be 297 in 43 overs

    Reply
  4. Mike C

     /  24th March 2015

    I have been at work.
    What’s the story with the cricket ???
    I can barely breathe.

    Reply

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