South Africa vs. New Zealand
|Date & Time||Wednesday June 19, 2019, 5:30 AM (EDT)|
New Zealand 1.73 South Africa 2.30
Edgbaston is the venue for New Zealand vs. South Africa on Wednesday. The South African’s come into this match on the back of their first victory at the 2019 World Cup whilst New Zealand have won 3 of their 4 matches so far.
The Kiwis last match against India was abandoned without a ball being bowled due to rain. This put an end to their 100% record at the tournament but still ensured that they remain unbeaten. They are in a good position to finish in the top 4 and look likely to claim a semi-final spot.
On the other hand, South Africa only just rescued their tournament hopes with a win over Afghanistan in their previous match. They cruised to victory, winning by 9 wickets and in turn kept their faint semi-final ambitions alive.
South Africa bowled Afghanistan out for 125 as their bowlers ran riot. Veteran spinner Imran Tahir tore through the Afghanistan batting line up with a vintage performance. He struck twice in his first over and finished on 4/29.
Fast bowlers Chris Morris and Andile Phehlukwayo also played their part. Morris was excellent and claimed figures of 3/15 whilst Phehlukwayo picked up 2 wickets for just 18 runs from 8 overs.
Quinton de Kock hit 68 runs to initiate the batting reply before Phehlukwayo came in and smashed 17 from 17. Hashim Amla batted through, scoring a steady 41 runs from 83 balls to guide his team to their first win of the tournament.
This was a much-needed performance by South Africa who have been well below at this year’s World Cup. They have faced difficult opposition so far in England and India but have also lost to Bangladesh and failed to put up a fight in any of those matches.
On the other hand, New Zealand have been very impressive. They opened their account with a 10-wicket demolition of Sri Lanka and then went on to beat Bangladesh and Afghanistan.
New Zealand's match against India was called off which means they are yet to face one of the tournament’s higher ranked teams yet. South Africa should pose more of a threat and will look to challenge New Zealand.
The Kiwi bowlers have been on fire in their recent matches and the South African batsmen will have to bring their A game if they are to compete. Lockie Ferguson has 8 wickets to his name already and Matt Henry has picked up 7. Jimmy Neesham’s 5/31 against Afghanistan are some of the best figures we’ve seen at the tournament so far.
Taking everything into account, New Zealand should beat South Africa on Wednesday. Whilst the Proteas will be on a high after their win, New Zealand are stronger in every aspect of the game.
The form of both their batsmen and their bowlers will be too much for South Africa to handle and I expect New Zealand to all but secure their semi-final spot with the win.