New Zealand to Choke South Africa and India to Overpower Australia?

    Written by: Mirza Salam Ahmed
    Posted on: March 24, 2015 | Post your comment here Comments

    1st Semi Final, New Zealand vs South Africa - ICC World Cup 2015 Semi Finals: New Zealand vs South Africa and Australia vs India

    1st Semi Final, New Zealand vs South Africa

    New Zealand’s emphatic victory over the West Indies once again proved that the dark horses were destined to reach the finale. With Chris Gayle returning to the bleachers and Trent Boult dismantling a locker-room-troubled West Indian side, it was indeed a one-sided game.

    Martin Guptill, who became the first man to score a double hundred in the knockout stage of the World Cup, was the cornerstone behind the win, with his blistering 237 runs. The New Zealanders are now on their way to the semi-finals with South Africa as their next target.

    Guptill’s fiery 237 off 163 balls, which included 11 sixes, 24 fours and a final six launched over the Westpac Stadium roof, will be marked with a red dot by the South African bowlers.

    The Black Caps have done well with the ball as well. They have four striker pacemen who have played brilliantly throughout the tournament. On the other hand, South Africa has been a team that has delivered with the bat, albeit scoring big mostly when batting first.

    Against the West Indies, a few weak points were noted. South Africa will be looking to capitalize on luring in big hitters from New Zealand, such as their aggressive captain Brendon MccCullum.

    It looks as if it’s a time of change, as the new rejuvenated South African side are finally ready to lose their label of “chokers”. However, Ab de Villers and the out-of-form Hashim Amla will have to be ready to take hold of the game to win this one. The in-form New Zealand might just take away the game this time around.

    Meanwhile, India rampaged over Bangladesh without a hitch with their batsmen becoming the stars of the day once again. However, it is the Indian bowling attack that has taken everyone by surprise. In the batting department, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Shikhar Dhawan, Suresh Raina and captain MS Dhoni are in fiery form, but it is the bowlers, such as Mohammad Shami and Umesh Yadav, that have stolen the spotlight.

    ICC World Cup 2015 Semi Finals: New Zealand vs South Africa and Australia vs India

    2nd Semi Final, Australia vs India

    Even though they have picked up a comprehensive win over Pakistan, Australia will have to make sure they are focused against India. Although playing at home and in full swing to steal the World Cup crown away from India, the Kangaroos have demonstrated weaknesses in the tournament.

    The Shaheens almost took the game away from the Australians with their strong aggressive play with the ball, thanks to Wahab Riaz. Also, with the bat they showed that the Aussies can be whacked around. The four-time World Cup winner Australia have been rivals of India for a very long time, therefore both team understand each other’s game very well.

    With the bat, Shane Watson and Glen Maxwell are predicted to be influential. With the ball, Mitchel Starc and Mitchell Johnson are expected to dominate. The duos have been impressive throughout the tournament, and are expected to set examples once again.

    India has seen a sea of blue shirts in the tournament, and their exceptional unwavering performances have further pumped cricket enthusiasts. If all goes as planned for Dhoni, Michael Clarke and his men won’t be in the final despite having the home advantage.

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