Birmingham hosts its first match of the 2019 Cricket World Cup when New Zealand clash with South Africa at Edgbaston on Wednesday.
New Zealand are unbeaten with 3 wins and 1 no result from their first 4 matches. Their most recent game would have been their biggest test to date but last Thursday’s clash with India was abandoned without a ball being bowled after heavy rain.
In earlier results New Zealand started their campaign with a 10 wicket hiding of Sri Lanka in Cardiff but they had to work pretty hard to chase down Bangladesh’s total of 244 at the Oval next time out, eventually getting up for a 2 wicket victory. The Black Caps then made it 3 wins from 3 with a comfortable 7 wicket victory over Afghanistan at Taunton. New Zealand can be backed at around 15/2 to win the tournament, 2/1 to reach the final and 1/3 to reach the semi’s.
Ross Taylor is top run scorer for New Zealand with 130, Kane Williamson has 109, Colin Munro 104 and Martin Guptill 98. With the ball Lockie Ferguson has taken 8 wickets, Matt Henry has 7 and James Neesham has 6.
This was how New Zealand lined up against Afghanistan the last time they took to the field.
Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, Kane Williamson (capt), Ross Taylor, Tom Latham (wk), James Neesham, Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Matt Henry, Lockie Ferguson, Trent Boult
The Proteas were in action against Afghanistan in Cardiff on Saturday and they came through with a 9 wicket win, their first victory of the tournament. Imran Tahir returned figures of 4/29 in 7 overs as Afghanistan were bowled out for just 125. Chris Morris also had a go day taking 3/13 in 6.1 overs. There was a conservative start to the chase and Quinton de Kock top scored with 68 before losing his wicket towards the end, Hasim Amla was unbeaten on 41 and the game was over in 28.4 overs.
Prior to the Afghanistan match only 7.3 overs of play were possible in the South Africa’s clash with West Indies in Southampton and their first 3 matches ended in defeats to England (104 runs), Bangladesh (24 runs) and India (6 wickets).
After this the Proteas face Pakistan and Sri Lanka before their final round robin match with Australia and they are likely to need to win every game to have a chance of a semi final place.
In the outright tournament betting South Africa are now trading at around 40/1 to be crowned champions, 25/1 to reach the final and 15/2 to reach the semi finals.
Quinton de Kock is leading run scorer for South Africa with 186, Rassie van der Dussen has 113 and, Faf du Plessis has made 105. Imran Tahir is leading wicket taker with 8, Andile Phehlukwayo and Chris Morris have 6 and Kagiso Rabada has 5.
This is how South Africa lined up against Afghanistan at the weekend.
Quinton de Kock(w), Hashim Amla, Aiden Markram, Faf du Plessis(c), Rassie van der Dussen, David Miller, Andile Phehlukwayo, Chris Morris, Kagiso Rabada, Imran Tahir, Beuran Hendricks
Head to Head
The teams have met 70 times with New Zealand winning 24, South Africa have won 41 with 5 no results.
The most recent head to heads came in a 5 match series in New Zealand in February / March 2017 and South Africa came out on top 3-2.
The Betting, Click here for all markets
New Zealand 8/10
South Africa 21/20
Note prices quoted are correct at the time of publication but are subject to change.
Although New Zealand’s wins came against the 3 rank outsiders in the tournament they look a well balanced side and South Africa will have to improve leaps and bounds to beat them.
I’m not sure how the Proteas will get on here and for a betting interest I’ll focus on New Zealand who get the vote to post the highest 15 over total. For additional interest Black caps skipper Kane Williamson is taken to score 40 or more runs.
Highest 1st 15 Overs Score, New Zealand at 9/10
Batsman Match Runs, Ks Williamson Over 39.5 at 9/10
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