Related Links: ICC World Cup 2015 | Scorecard of New Zealand vs South Africa, Semi Final at Auckland, ICC World Cup 2015
Match Preview and Squads of New Zealand vs South Africa, 1st Semi Final at Auckland (Mar 24): ICC World Cup 2015
Co-hosts New Zealand will face one of the favourites to win the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup, South Africa, in the first semi-final of the tournament on Tuesday at Auckland. South Africa progressed to the semi-finals by putting out Sri Lanka by nine wickets in their quarter-final clash while New Zealand thrashed West Indies by 143 runs to progress to their seventh semi-final in the World Cup. Interestingly, neither South Africa nor New Zealand have progressed beyond the semi-final stage of the event. The Kiwis have lost on all previous occasions, including the last edition in 2011. South Africa lost in 1992, 2007 and tied in 1999. So whoever wins on Tuesday, will create history.
Above photo: A general view of Eden Park during the Cricket World Cup semi final match between New Zealand and South Africa at Eden Park in Auckland on March 24, 2015. AFP PHOTO / MARTY MELVILLE / GETTY IMAGES
New Zealand will be pumped up following the thrashing of West Indies. Martin Guptill has become an overnight hero following his record breaking exploits at Wellington. There will be plenty of expectations from him when he takes the field at Auckland. Not to forget, Brendon McCullum will be itching for a good score. Everyone from Kane Williamson to Corey Anderson, and Luke Ronchi to Grant Elliott have got runs in some form or the other. Even Ross Taylor has contributed significantly though he hasn’t been in form. Adam Milne may have been ruled out of the tournament, but New Zealand’s bowling attack remains strong, with Trent Boult leading the way followed by good support from Tim Southee and Daniel Vettori.
Above photo: New Zealand (L) and South Africa players stand for their national anthems during the Cricket World Cup Semi Final match between New Zealand and South Africa at Eden Park in Auckland on March 24, 2015. AFP PHOTO / MARTY MELVILLE / GETTY IMAGES
South Africa bowled brilliantly to overcome Sri Lanka, but they have had issues chasing, losing to both India and Pakistan. New Zealand will be keen to exploit this weakness of South Africa. The Proteas though should be happy with their recovery in recent games. The return to form for Quinton de Kock is a massive plus. Hashim Amla, Faf du Plessis, David Miller and JP Duminy have all got hundreds during the course of the tournament. But of course, AB de Villiers might again be the make or break man for South Africa, particularly if they find themselves under pressure. In the bowling Kyle Abbott has been the most impressive of all, and while Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel have done reasonably well, they are yet to hit peak form. Imran Tahir, on the other hand, has stood out. He could have a massive impact on the game considering Kiwis’ weakness against slow bowling.
Update: South Africa won the toss and chose to bat first. Below are the playing XIs of the New Zealand vs South Africa, 1st Semi Final at Auckland:
New Zealand Team: Brendon McCullum (Captain), Martin Guptill, Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Grant Elliott, Corey Anderson, Luke Ronchi (Wicket Keeper), Daniel Vettori, Tim Southee, Matt Henry, Trent Boult
South Africa Team: Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock (Wicket Keeper), Faf du Plessis, AB de Villiers (Captain), Rilee Rossouw, David Miller, JP Duminy, Vernon Philander, Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel, Imran Tahir