WI vs NZ Live : Battle for the final semi-final Spot
WI vs NZ : Delayed start, infrequent breaks, dropped catches, missed appeal and heartbreak -another heartbreak for South Africa. Black Caps are the team the Proteas have been dreading close to a decade in a must-win game. Their nightmare turned into reality again on Wednesday, with Kane Williamson, the modern classicist, taking team once again over the line with his surgical precision through the field and targetting right bowlers even if that meant playing as many as 72 dots balls. Collin De Grandhomme took the chase as a taking bull by the horn on his way to swinging to second ODI half-century of 39 balls when every player from both sides found batting challenging to keep going.
Proteas had their moments with missed stumping appeal of Kane Williamson as Imran Tahir lacking support from fielders to go for DRS. Gibbs in 1999 World Cup dropping Steve Waugh, AB De Villers easy missing run out in 2015 WC semi-final, David Miller failing to run out Williamson in 2019 CWC. Another year of hard work, and wait for ICC trophy continues for the rainbow nation.
While Kiwis race ahead to for a spot in semis courtesy the win over South Africa. But another win and that should seal Kiwis in their seventh World Cup final. The next on the road to face the Black Caps are West Indies, another side that needs to win all encounters to keep the thread of hope alive.
Windies one-dimensional bowling unit
Windies are coming off a shock loss to Bangladesh. More than the loss, it was how Bangladesh batsman dominated West Indies bowler against whom Australia, Pakistan confronted fell flat on the face. The short ball trick which saw Windies ball 58% short ball in the tournament has outlasted its shelf life and at the moments come across as one-dimensional with their strategy yielding 11 wickets in first three matches an average of 14.63 while next two games were averaging 88.66 with three wickets. Even the percent of spin overs bowled is lowest among teams of the tournament with 7. So New Zealand can sort their plans about it before the match. Can Windies bring in a variety with Ashley Nurse in the team remains to be seen? The fast bowling attack lacks the variety with the absence of a swing bowler in English conditions to bowl full-length deliveries.
West Indies powerful batting
Andre Rusell-Chris Gayle ducks were one of the reasons for West Indies to not post a match-winning total that would have broken sweat of the Bangladesh batsman. Shai Hope looks the hope to carry Windies batting through. Darren Bravo could be another able lieutenant to carry Windies batting hope while likes of Gayles, Hetmyers, Russells, Holders go bang-bang. West Indies looked like a team that could post either 320 plus score or 175 all out, but with Bravo, they have the stability in the middle order to insulate from the shockwaves to the middle order. Windies batting is their strength heading into the encounter.
New Zealand team
The Black Caps have destructive duo as the opening pair, but sadly Guptill-Munro after the stand of 136-0 against Sri Lanka in the first match has been far from their best. Kane Williamson -Ross Taylor have the onus on them again to carry the Kiwis batting with Tom Latham still being out of form. Collin De Grandhomme, Jimmy Neesham can tonk the ball into the grandstand at their will. In Lockie Ferguson, Trent Boult, Matt Henry the bowling has variety and bowlers who can bowl full, fast and swing it, either way, a far better option than Men in Marron. Mitch Santner is a good option with the ball to tie the flow of the run; the economy of 4.88 in the modern day cricket is as good as gold dust.
Likely Playing XI
West Indies: Chris Gayle, Darren Bravo, Andre Russell, Shannon Gabriel, Jason Holder (c), Evin Lewis, Sheldon Cottrell, Nicholas Pooran, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope (wk), Oshane Thomas
New Zealand’s: Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, Kane Williamson (C), Ross Taylor, Colin de Grandhomme, Trent Boult, Tom Latham (wk), James Neesham, Matt Henry, Mitchell Santner, Lockie Ferguson
New Zealand is favourite in WI vs NZ encounter. Windies will be deflated after the defeat against Bangladesh even after posting a good total. But if Gayle fires, then the Windies batting can post a big total. If any side in the tournament is capable of displaying the score of 500, then one of it is West Indies. Windies batting is capable of destroying any bowling line up on its day if they bat bit smartly shun off the flair for which its batting is known. For Kiwis, no better match than against West Indies for its opener to get back in form. Martin Guptill overcame his lean patch in World Cup 2015 against West Indies in quarterfinal slamming 237*, a repeat of that could be on the cards either from Guptill or Munro getting some decent hit in the middle.
Title : WI vs NZ : Battle for the final semi-final Spot