Thursday, 15 March 2007

Previews: England vs New Zealand and South Africa vs Netherlands

After Ireland's fantastic result on Thursday the World Cup has really come to life and we head into Friday's round of matches bubbling with excitement. Arguably the biggest game of the tournament to date takes place in the afternoon, when England meet New Zealand in St. Lucia. England have had the best of recent encounters between the two sides, narrowly beating New Zealand to a place in the final of the recent CB series in Australia and the Kiwi's, buoyed by their recent 3-0 Chappell-Hadlee series victory over Australia, will be keen for some revenge.

It would seem to be a case of who will and who will not play tomorrow, with fitness doubts surrounding Vaughan, Anderson, McMillan, Gillespie, McCullum, Fulton and Oram. However, most are expected to play and whoever takes to the field we are guaranteed a splendid spectacle, between two flambouyant sides, captained by possibly the two best captains in World Cricket.

To the other match and one can see no other result than a victory for South Africa, one can only hope that it is a closer run thing than todays' mismatch between Bermuda and Sri Lanka, in which the minnows were defeated by the second largest margin in World Cup history. The match will though provide an interesting glance of how close Ryan ten Doeschate is to a South African call up.

England vs New Zealand:

Prediction: The patriot in me says England, the realist playing by the odds, New Zealand. It really is tough to call. With Pietersen coming into a recently successful side though, I must say England, by a whisker.

Players to Watch: It is tempting to mention the big guns, but I'm plumping for the battle between Panesar and Vettori, which could be key to deciding the outcome of the match on a slow track.

South Africa vs Netherlands:

Prediction: South Africa with ease eventually, though there may be the odd failure.

Players to Watch: Jaques Kallis rarely misses a chance to enhance his average and Ryan ten Doeschate will be looking to impress.


Homer said...

not to forget Jeeten Patel ( if he plays). His off spin can come mighty handy in tandem with Harry Potter

Chrispy said...

Yes the offspin of Patel and Dalrymple, possibly even Taylor and KP could come into it if Kenya's performance was anything to go by. The success of either Monty or Vettori could be one of the keys to determining the outcome though and it will be fascinating to see who wins that battle of left arm spin.

The medium pacers could proove useful too of course!

Homer said...

KP wont be a factor- if the wicket keeps low and slow and the ball does not come to the bat- I get the feeling he prefers a pacier wicket.

Why is it that the England batting lineup is so bottom heavy?

Homer said...

darn...KP proved me wrong with the bat :(

Chrispy said...

England's lack of a fifth bowler was cruelly exposed, but you can't win on a consistant basis defending just 209. The top order looks inconsistant and it is, while Flintoff is still not matching his potential. Monty won the battle, but New Zealand won the war in this game. Poor batting by England again, how many more times will it be said.

Chrispy said...

At least Kallis and ten Doeschate backed me up and wasn't it fantastic to see Gibbs get six sixes!

Homer said...

it was even better that Johnnie Walker had to part with their million dollars :)