March 24, 2011

ICC World Cup 2011 - Quarter Finals 3: South Africa Vs New Zealand

   The only quarter final game which does not feature a team from the sub-continent or even a previous world cup winner. But, if you are thinking this just makes for a lame encounter, you need to wake up now! Proteas have for long been tagged "Chokers", Kiwis have been the dark horses in most big tournaments. This cup is no different. Once through the league any team that can win 3 more games is crowned the champions. Like it or not. This brings the equation very close, its just on the day performance and not the potential of the teams that will affect the end result.

New Zealand Report :
   Vettori's side has seen pretty much the worse period ever for the Kiwis. They do not justify their talent with their current ODI rating but, losing to Bangladesh and then India did not help their cause. They have looked better in the world cup though, they beat the Group A leaders Pakistan thanks to a mad max innings courtesy Ross Taylor. But struggled against Australia and Sri Lanka and hence finished 4th in the group. Once again its the consistency that has been lacking from the black caps. Facing Group B leaders won't be simple, their top guns Taylor, Mc Cullum, Vettori will have to make sure that it isn't thrown away. Southee has looked good  and will be responsible to bring early breaks against the majestic Proteas batting line-up. Hopefully, Vettori is fit and that will severely boost their chances. Brendon McCullum, Martin Guptil, Jesse Ryder will have to deliver with the bat. Taylor, Styris can later give the impetus. If they can post a meaty score like they did against Pakistan. They should look for wickets early in the SAF innings. Hopefully, bowling coach Alan Donald will give them key pointers. Proteas batting has blinked a few times once the top order is back in the hut. Kiwis should look to play disciplined cricket all along to beat the mighty Proteas.

South Africa Report :
    Smith's men have come to the party and bullied everyone. Except for the hiccup against England in chennai, they have beaten others convincingly to top group B. Playing at Dhaka once again, Proteas would be keen to play Tahir, Peterson and perhaps Botha considering their winning run.Tsotsobe was great in the game against Bangladesh. Smith has yet to fire with the bat and would be hoping that one game is not far away. Kallis has shown flashes of his reputation. Yet, Amla and AB DeVilliers will be their trump cards once again. If any of these four click they can easily post a huge total with the help of Duminy, DuPlesis, Botha. Van Wyk has been disappointing, I think his place in the team is now taken. Will be keen to see if Ingram gets a chance ahead of Faf in any case they need to play the slogger's role. Steyn has looked at his menacing best. And Morkel has been no less from the other end. Proteas have a well balanced attack and a fearsome one at that. Proteas who have done well against Kiwis in world cup games would be hoping the trend continues and gives them a berth in the semis. Yet to win a world cup, they will be hoping the tag of "Chokers" doesn't arrive for 3 more games.

Watch Out For:
  • Tahir Vs Taylor
  • Vettori Vs De Villiers
  • Steyn Vs McCullum
   The teams know very well this is the knock-out time, one bad day and they will be boarding their flights for home. This is the time to bring out all the tricks from the bag, do anything but win. Proteas would just have to hope Duckworth and Lewis are not anywhere in the vicinity of the ground. New Zealand have to do just one thing, put the opponents under pressure, then they will stand up-to their name "Chokers". Rest assured it is all going to happen at Dhaka.

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