South Africa cricket team would look to keep their hopes alive for semi finals as they face a strong and yet unbeaten New Zealand cricket team at Edgbaston, Birmingham on Wednesday in the 25th match of the ICC World Cup 2019. Kane Williamson-led New Zealand is at the second position in ICC World Cup 2019 Points table while the Proteas are at the eight spot with three points in five matches.
CHECK MATCH 25 (NZ vs SA) LIVE score, Toss updates and Match Commentary
After winning their maiden match against minnows Afghanistan, Faf du Plessis-led South Africa would look to gain some confidence as they face a formidable New Zealand, who are still unbeaten after their four matches, including a washout against india cricket team.
South Africa will look to avenge their 2015 semifinal defeat while New Zealand will aim to reclaim their position at the top when the two sides clash in a World Cup match here on Wednesday. Considering the Proteas are playing their sixth match of the tournament, this could be a virtual knockout for the team if they lose.
Injuries to pacers Dale Steyn and Anrich Norje have hurt the South African bowling unit severely, however, with pacer Lungi Ngidi back in the side, Faf du Plessis will breathe a sigh of relief. Ngidi is likely to replace Beuran Hendricks in the South Africa playing 11.
In contrast, New Zealand are yet to face defeat in the tournament and are lying second on the table with three wins and a washout.
South Africa will need their bowlers to step up to keep their World Cup hopes alive. A lot will depend on veteran spinner Imran Tahir should the Edgbaston surface offer turn. The 40-year-old took two wickets each against England and Bangladesh, before running through Afghanistan. The Proteas have been mostly done in by their batting but they will take heart from the fact that openers Hashim Amla and Quinton de Kock finally clicked in the previous game. The pair, alongside du Plessis, will have to navigate their way through a quality seam attack led by Trent Boult. However, considering South Africa's dismal record against spin and the brown Edgbaston wicket, the Black Caps might consider deploying leg spinner Ish Sodhi alongside the reliant Mitchell Santer.
New Zealand have a solid batting unit. Skipper Kane Williamson anchored the side to victory against Bangladesh and Afghanistan while Ross Taylor has also been among the runs but the team will hope for openers Colin Munro and Martin Guptill to start clicking. New Zealand also have two destructive all-rounders in Jimmy Neesham and Colin de Grandhomme in their ranks. The pitch is likely to favour spinners but the forecast predicts drizzle, hence seamers may gain advantage at the later stage