First Final Berth Up For Grabs

Martin Guptill New Zealand. Image courtesy of
Martin Guptill has enjoyed a stellar World Cup campaign. Image courtesy of

New Zealand Cricket Logo

New Zealand


South Africa

Eden Park, Auckland

Tuesday March 24 – 11.00 AM (AEST)




South Africa Cricket Logo

The first semi-final of the 2015 ICC World Cup brings together two nations which have never made it through to a decider - co-hosts New Zealand and world number 3 South Africa .

The Kiwis are seven from seven heading into this contest and boast a couple of key players in red hot form. Fresh from a Cup record 237 not out off 163 balls, opener Martin Guptill sits second on the Top Run Scorer List with 498 from his seven innings. Thanks to a mammoth knock which included 24 fours and 11 sixes, Guptill is averaging 83 and is just 43 runs behind Kumar Sangakkara. Captain Brendon McCullum  is their next best contributor with 269 runs.

The hosts are also doing well with the ball and have three players in the top 10 on the Leading Wickets Takers List. Trent Boult heads that list with 19, while Tim Southee  and Daniel Vettori  have 15 each. They've also been backed up by all-rounder Corey Anderson , who has bagged 11 wickets in seven matches. However, the hosts will miss Adam Milne, who has been ruled out with a heel injury.

On the way to their fourth World Cup semi-final appearance, South Africa dropped two of their six pool matches to Pakistan and India. However, they've twice posted 400-plus totals with A.B. de Villiers easily their star batter. The skipper has made 417 runs (83.4 average) from six digs and is the tournament's fourth top scorer, while Hashim Amla  (323) and Faf du Plessis  (298) are also in the top 20.

On the bowling front, leg-spinner Imran Tahir and quick Morne Morkel  have picked up 29 wickets between them; Tahir has 15, Morkel 14. Though he's been expensive thus far, damaging paceman Dale Steyn  is more than capable of adding to his 10 scalps in this match.

This really is a toss of the coin job, but after six shattering semi-final losses in this tournament, the huge home crowd support might just lift New Zealand to their first WC Final.  



Chris Bombolas - Tatts Senior Writer

Chris Bombolas - Twitter


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