New Zealand vs South Africa: Preview and Prediction
The two teams are all set to cross swords against each other on Wednesday at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune.
The Proteas team has excelled in all three facets of the game be it batting, bowling, or fielding throughout the ICC tournament. They came off as a surprise in the tournament and are now being considered as top contenders for winning the tournament.
Temba Bavuma’s men are occupying the second place in the points table with a total of five victories to their name and one loss from six matches.
South Africa is currently on a three-match winning streak and it is their batting that has worked as a charm in the World Cup. They have scored 300+ scores a total of four times in six matches.
New Zealand, on the other hand, is third in the points table with eight points from four wins and two losses. The team was doing well in the ICC event but they have flattened in the last two games. The Blackcaps will be hoping to get back on track and gain the momentum to confirm a place in the next round of the event.
Notably, the bowlers have emerged as the biggest strength of the team in the ICC event as they have conceded over 300 runs just once in the allotted 50 overs in the league.
What has happened so far?
So far in the ICC World Cup 2023, South Africa has enjoyed a dreamy ride with five wins and one loss. The team lost only one game against the Netherlands by 38 runs while they defeated the likes of Sri Lanka, Australia, England, Bangladesh, and Pakistan. Proteas are currently on a three-match winning streak with their most recent win in the tournament coming against Pakistan by one wicket.
South Africa chased down 271 runs in 47.2 overs courtesy of Aiden Markram. New Zealand, on the other hand, looked wonderful at the beginning of the tournament as they won their first four matches. However, they failed to continue the momentum and ended up losing their next two games against India and Australia by four wickets and five runs respectively.
It was a bad performance by the Kiwi bowlers as they conceded 388 runs in 49.2 overs. Chasing the total, they came really close with 383 runs but fell short of five runs.
Head to Head Record
New Zealand and South African cricket teams share an interesting history when it comes to the One Day Internationals. The two teams have played against each other a total of 71 times in the 50-over format.
The Proteas have won a total of 41 games while the Blackcaps are far behind with only 25 victories to their name. Notably, as many as five games between the two sides did not fetch any results.
Rachin Ravindra (New Zealand): Rachin Ravindra has been the x-factor for the New Zealand cricket team in the 2023 edition of the ICC ODI World Cup. The all-rounder has managed to surprise the who’s who of the cricket fraternity by smacking a whopping 406 runs in six matches at an average of over 81. The young rookie is the top run-scorer for New Zealand while he is occupying third place in the overall list.
In the last game against Australia, New Zealand lost the match by five runs but Ravindra made heads turn by smashing 116 runs off 89 balls with the help of nine boundaries and five maximums.
Quinton de Kock (South Africa): For South Africa, Quinton de Kock has been the wrecker-in-chief. The opening batter is currently the top run-scorer in the tournament with a massive 431 runs to his name in six matches at an average of 71.83 and a strike rate of over 117.
Quinton failed to make a mark in the last game against Pakistan as he scored only 24 runs off 14 balls. However, the wicketkeeper-batter is expected to redeem himself on Wednesday and churn out an exceptional performance.
New Zealand: Devon Conway, Will Young, Rachin Ravindra, Daryl Mitchell, Tom Latham © (wk), Glenn Phillips, James Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Matt Henry, Lockie Ferguson, Trent Boult
South Africa: Quinton de Kock (wk), Temba Bavuma ©, Rassie van der Dussen, Aiden Markram, Heinrich Klaasen, David Miller, Marco Jansen, Gerald Coetzee, Keshav Maharaj, Lungi Ngidi, Tabraiz Shamsi
Both South Africa and New Zealand are doing a commendable job in the 2023 edition of the ICC ODI World Cup and are the hot favorites for qualifying for the playoffs and lifting the cup. However, it would not be wrong to say that South Africa has an edge between the two as they are on a rampage in the marquee event.
The Proteas have displayed phenomenal cricket in the past few days and are thus second in the points table with five wins and only one loss from a total of six league matches. South Africa are currently on a three-match winning streak and are likely to continue the momentum on Wednesday as well.
The New Zealand cricket team is also good but might be low on momentum considering their defeat in the last two games against India and Australia.