Friday, March 25, 2011

World Cup 2011 .... South Africa vs New Zealand - preview !!!

South Africa take on New Zealand today in the 3rd quarterfinals of the tournament, being held at Mirpur, Dhaka.
Known to choke at the knock out stages, the Proteas look a better unit this time around. They bat very deep & with conviction though Captain Graeme Smith is yet to fire, the bowling has the firepower both in pace & spin to meet the subcontinent pitches, while fielding has always been their strength. Their only loss in the tournament thus far has been to England in the group stages, where they choked unexpectedly while chasing a rather easy target, but they quickly got the act right & chased successfully against a mighty Indian total to get the rhythm back. That victory would have done the morale a world of good & they seem to be uniting very well & peaking at the right time.
New Zealand, this time around have been scratching & prodding, & have made to the knockout stages rather unconvincingly. Though they defeated Pakistan in the group stages, they don't look the team which will go the distance. With Daniel Vetorri coming back after an injury, the team composition looks better, but not good enough.
Unless the Proteas, self destruct & self defeat themselves, I don't see the Kiwis winning.

My prediction would be a 65 : 35 in favour of  South Africa.