Saturday, April 14, 2007


The Aussies are through to the semis, and the Kiwis can join them if they manage to hold off another nation from the Southern Hemisphere - South Africa. New Zealand skipper Stephen Fleming should play both his spinners unless the wicket is one that overtly favours the quicker bowlers. After all, spin has been the Achilles Heel for the Proteas, both in terms of facing it as well as employing it to their advantage. But today Graeme Smith will be expecting his experienced batsmen in the middle-order to play sensibly against Daniel Vettori and Jeetan Patel. Maybe, he should be smart enough to use his better batsmen of spin -Ashwell Prince and Mark Boucher - when the spin duo comes on to bowl and leave Gibbs and Kallis for the big hitting towards the end.

The Kiwis will be looking to Shane Bond to pick up the early wickets before they can bring on the slower bowlers to squeeze the South African batsmen into making mistakes. However, Fleming will still be worried about the form of his batsmen. Though the South African new-ball attack of Shaun Pollock and Makhaya Ntini has not done much damage of late, they still have the potential to wreck the Kiwi batting. Our predictions follow:

New Zealand v/s South Africa
AKG: New Zealand. They have looked far better this tournament than the Graeme Smith's side.
MJV: South Africa. If not for their ability, than more for having a "showdown" with Ashok. However, they still do not seem good enough to be World champions.

Match scheduled to start at 1900 IST on SET MAX (English) and SAB TV (Hindi).

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