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Preview: Both New Zealand and South Africa are unbeaten going into their final group match at the Bay Oval, each having secured a place in the quarter-finals. So this is a straight shootout for top spot, which could shape the rest of the tournament. The winner earns the right to play the second-placed team in Group D – one of Pakistan, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka or (as a long-shot) Ireland.
Hosts New Zealand completed impressive wins over the West Indies, by eight wickets, and Kenya, by 243 runs. South Africa have been similarly dominant, dispatching Kenya by 169 runs and then reigning champions West Indies by 76 runs. They’ve been both been successful with bat and ball, with New Zealand in particular comfortable racking up quick runs.
Players to watch
Finn Allen (NZ)
Auckland batsman Finn Allen has been one of New Zealand’s stars so far, with 205 runs across the two matches. He made 115* off 100 balls against West Indies before smashing 90 from 40 balls against Kenya - the fifth highest strike rate for a 50-plus score in the ICC U19 CWC, and the highest by a New Zealand player.
Hermann Rolfes (SA)
West Indies might have chased down South Africa’s 282 had it not been for the excellent work of stump-to-stump seamer Hermann Rolfes. He took 4/33 from his 10 overs, including both the key wickets as Alick Athanaze and Kirstan Kallicharan built a partnership. New Zealand will need an answer to his skiddy right-arm.
Out of seven completed games New Zealand have won just one and South Africa seven.
World Cup history
They’ve played each other three times since 2010, and South Africa have won every time. And convincingly too: by nine wickets in Lincoln in 2010, by eight wickets in Townsville in 2012 and by 138 at Cox’s Bazar in 2016.
It’ll be a pleasant 24 degrees in Mount Maunganui, but cloudy, humid and a slight chance of rain. Could be a good day for the seamers.
New Zealand: Kaylum Boshier (c), Finn Allen, Jakob Bhula, Max Chu, Katene Clarke, Matthew Fisher, Luke Georgeson, Ben Lockrose, Callum McLachlan, Felix Murray, Sandeep Patel, Dale Phillips, Rachin Ravindra, Connor Sullivan, Todd Watson
South Africa: Raynard van Tonder (c), Matthew Breetzke, Gerald Coetzee, Jade de Klerk, Jean du Plessis, Fraser Jones, Wandile Makwetu, Akhona Mnyaka, Andile Mokgakane, Kgaudisa Molefe, Jason Niemand, Thando Ntini, Jiveshan Pillay, Hermann Rolfes, Kenan Smith
This article first appeared on ICC-Cricket.com, reproduced with permission.
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