Match 32: New Zealand Takes the Field First After Winning the Toss Against South Africa
Tom Latham, New Zealand’s captain, won the toss and chose to field first. Tim Southee, a key player, was brought back into the team, replacing Lockie Ferguson who is currently dealing with an Achilles injury.
South Africa’s captain, Temba Bavuma, revealed that they would have chosen to bat first regardless. He mentioned that the pitch was relatively dry, which could cause the ball to skid later in the day. Kagiso Rabada was also brought back into the South African team, replacing Tabraiz Shamsi who missed the previous match against Pakistan due to a back issue.
Despite being in the running to return from a thumb injury, Kane Williamson was not included in the New Zealand team for this match.
Crucial Match in the Race for Semi-Finals
This match between two of the early frontrunners of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 is crucial, with the winner moving a step closer to securing a semi-final spot.
South Africa, currently second in the standings and just ahead of New Zealand, have secured five victories so far, primarily due to their impressive performances when setting high targets.
However, the Proteas have struggled when chasing targets, falling short by 38 runs against the Netherlands and barely securing a one-wicket victory against Pakistan.
New Zealand, on the other hand, is looking to regain momentum after suffering consecutive losses to India and Australia following four initial victories.
New Zealand’s Advantage Over South Africa
New Zealand holds a 6-2 lead over South Africa in previous ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup matches and is currently on a five-match winning streak against them in the tournament.
The most memorable victory for the Kiwis came in the 2015 semi-final when they won by 4 wickets with just 1 ball remaining, thanks to the D/L method.
If both teams maintain their current standings, another semi-final showdown could be in the offing.