A colossal clash is on the horizon as New Zealand and South Africa, both prominent teams in the ICC World Cup 2023, are gearing up to meet at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune. Both sides have had an impressive run in the tournament. South Africa has put up a commendable performance, securing victories in 5 out of their 6 matches, with their lone defeat coming against the Netherlands. On the other hand, New Zealand, while showing strength, has encountered setbacks in 2 of their 6 matches so far. They suffered a 4-wicket loss to India and a heart-stopping 5-run loss to Australia, with the match against Australia being decided on the final delivery. This highlights the importance of New Zealand’s ability to win closely contested matches if they have aspirations to claim the championship.
The upcoming match is expected to be a tightly contested battle and a showdown between two cricketing giants. Over the years, these teams have faced each other in 71 ODIs. South Africa holds the advantage with 41 wins, while New Zealand has secured 25 victories, and five matches ended without a result. However, in the context of the World Cup, New Zealand holds a dominant record, having not lost to South Africa in the past 24 years. In the 8 World Cup matches they’ve played, New Zealand emerged victorious 6 times, with South Africa clinching victory on 2 occasions. New Zealand’s wins include two through the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern (DLS) method in 2003 and 2015, three while chasing targets (in 1992, 2007, and 2019), and one when setting a target in 2011. South Africa secured wins in 1996 and 1999. This sets the stage for a thrilling encounter between these two cricketing powerhouses.
The confirmed playing XI for the upcoming match consists of the following players: Temba Bavuma, who will be leading the team as captain (C), Quinton de Kock as the wicketkeeper (WK), Rassie van der Dussen, Aiden Markram, Will Young, Devon Conway, Rachin Ravindra, Marco Jansen, Kagiso Rabada, Trent Boult, and Matt Henry, who serves as the vice-captain (VC). Pune is well-known for providing favorable conditions for batsmen, although fast bowlers may find some early-game opportunities with a bit of seam and swing. However, precision in maintaining the right line and length is crucial. It’s a common trend for the team winning the toss to opt for bowling first.
Out of the nine ODIs played at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune, only four have been won by teams batting first. Notably, the match on October 30 between Afghanistan and Sri Lanka saw Afghanistan emerging victorious by 7 wickets. Weather conditions in Pune are expected to begin with a high temperature of 32 degrees Celsius at the start of the match and gradually cool down. The humidity is predicted to be relatively low at 43%, and there is no forecast of rain, according to Weather.com.
Google’s win probability suggests a 56% chance of South Africa winning against New Zealand in this match. CricTracker’s prediction indicates that South Africa will secure their sixth win, regardless of whether they bat first or second. MyKhel anticipates a closely contested match, though South Africa is seen as having the upper hand. For the Black Caps, a loss in this match could cast doubt on their chances of reaching the semi-finals, considering the strong competition from teams like Pakistan and Afghanistan vying for a spot in the Top 4. A New Zealand win is predicted, particularly if they bat first. South Africa’s previous chasing performances in this tournament have been less than impressive.