New Zealand Breaks The Streak
World cup 2015 has seen some of the most amazing performances through some predictable and a lot of unpredictable games. Of most, in World cup 2015 Semifinals, the final 4 teams are the Top 4 teams in ICC World Ranking, respectively, Australia, India, South Africa, and New Zealand.
In it’s 1st Semifinal, South Africa was playing against the home team New Zealand today, on 24th March 2015. South Africa won the toss and elected to bat.
1st World Cup '15 Semifinal
South Africa's Magnificent Batting
The first 15 overs, seemed to be pretty slow and tough for South Africa, as it lost 2 early wickets. However, Du Plessis maintained his temper and slowly started to build up the better score. He played a fine inning of 82 runs, being consistent at one end. Later, Capt. AB de Villiers scored 65 of 45 balls and David Miller, giving a very tough time to bowlers, scored 49 runs of 18 balls. These 3 hitters helped South Africa to achieve the score of 281 runs in 43 overs.
Everyone was stunned by South African Batting, and now New Zealand had to score 282 to win the match under 43 overs to win the match or atleast tie at 281 to get into the Final. This target was only possible, if New Zealand managed to maintain the run rate of 6.55 runs per over.
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New Zealand Batsmen Accepted The Challenge
Due to rain in 28th over during South Africa’s innings, now South African bowlers had an advantage, as ball was now able to bounce and seem better. However, the home team, New Zealand, got a good start with nice score during the first 5 overs. But next 5 weren’t in their favour, during which they faced a maiden over along with losing 2 important wickets. Keeping it cool in such tensed situation, Capt. McCullum continued his hitting spree, giving a hard time to almost all the bowlers, including Dale Styen. Later Ross Taylor played consistent innings by scoring 30 runs in 39 balls, followed by fantastic innings from Grant Elliott who was 84 not out from 73 balls, and Corey Anderson, who again being consistent, played fine innings by scoring 58 from 57 balls.
The innings of these 4 hitters made it possible for New Zealand to achieve the Victory, and for the first time in World Cup History, New Zealand reached the final, and broke it’s streak.
Poorly Executed Bowling and Fielding
The reasons, South Africa lost after such amazing innings, were the lost catches, missed run outs and over throw runs given away, by the team known for its expert fielding. But does not end there. Except Imran Tahir, all the bowlers were having the hard time to control the batsmen on strike. In fact, the opening bowler Dale Steyn, who was the best, gave the maximum runs, 76, during his 8.5 overs, at the run rate of 8.6 runs per over.
These was proven to be so costly, that South Africa not only lost the match but also lost the chance to enter The Final, again.
Caution for The Winners
Through the statistics, however, we can also observe, that while New Zealand was excellent when facing the fast bowlers, spin bowling was tough for them to manage and get runs from. This one small weakness can be proven very fatal during The Final, if not taken care of.
Altogether, it was a very thrilling match till the 2nd last ball of the match, as no one was able to predict the final outcome of the match, since it had been equally feasible to go either side till then.
The Road Ahead!
Now, New Zealand for the first time in The World Cup Final, will be facing the winner from the 2nd Semifinal to be played between Australia and India on 26th March 2015; The Top 2 Teams in ICC Cricket Ranking.
What Do You Think??
Which team will New Zealand face in World Cup'15 Final, according to you?
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