All you need to know about New Zealand vs South Africa World Cup semi-final

Four years after it was meant to happen, two of the world's most bitter sporting rivals -- New Zealand and South Africa -- will face off in a World Cup semi-final at Eden Park.

Eden Park has been the scene of some magnificent battles between New Zealand and South Africa over the years but rarely has one intoxicated the nation with such magnitude as this semi-final. There have been calls in the news media for a public holiday so the nation can stop and watch. Read the full preview here.

Press conference/listen:We talk a lot about this being the greatest time of our lives: McCullum.

Press conference/listen:AB de Villiers is 'expecting the unexpected' against New Zealand

 All you need to know about New Zealand vs South Africa World Cup semi-final

File picture of AB de Villiers. AP

Ten match facts for Tuesday's World Cup semi-final between New Zealand and South Africa at Eden Park, Auckland:

- South Africa have won one and lost seven of the nine semi-finals they have played in all one-day international tournaments. The other was a tie, against Australia at the 1999 World Cup -- a result that saw them eliminated on lower Super Six table placing.

- This will be the seventh World Cup meeting between these sides with the Black Caps having won four of the previous six encounters. The only one of these that was a knockout match however was New Zealand’s win at the quarter-final stage at Dhaka in 2011.

- Daniel Vettori needs one more wicket to become New Zealand’s leading wicket taker in World Cup history; he is currently tied with Jacob Oram on 36.

- South Africa have won three of their last four completed ODIs against New Zealand at Eden Park.

- The Black Caps have lost the toss in the last 12 ODIs they have played at Eden Park and have been put into bat on nine of these occasions, winning just one of these nine (L5, T1, 2x N/R).

- Seven players have hit three consecutive ODI centuries before, if Martin Guptill hits a ton in this match he will be the third Black Caps player to do so.

- Two more runs will see Guptill become the first Kiwi to score 500+ runs in a single World Cup, Scott Styris hit 499 in 2007. He would become the eighth player from any nation to achieve the feat.

- Brendon McCullum has the highest boundaries per ball faced rate (34%) at this tournament.

- Imran Tahir has bowled more balls (404) than any other player at this tournament; he and Vettori are the joint top wicket taking spinners (both 15).

- Farhaan Behardien has scored 74 runs off the 36 balls he has faced in the tournament; he has the lowest dot ball percentage of any player (11.1%).

- Kane Williamson has scored 53 runs from 51 balls bowled by Morne Morkel in ODIs, never having been dismissed by the South African seamer.

Head-to-head record for New Zealand and South Africa

OVERALL

Played: 61

New Zealand wins: 20

South Africa wins: 36

Tied: 0

No result: 5

First meeting:

Feb 29, 1992: Auckland New Zealand won by seven wickets

Last 10 meetings:

Mar 25, 2011: Dhaka New Zealand won by 49 runs

Feb 25, 2012: Wellington South Africa won by six wickets

Feb 29, 2012: Napier South Africa won by six wickets

Mar 03, 2012: Auckland South Africa won by five wickets

Jan 19, 2013: Paarl New Zealand won by one wicket

Jan 22, 2013: Kimberley New Zealand won by 27 runs

Jan 25, 2013: Potchefstroom South Africa won by one wicket

Oct 21, 2014: Maunganui South Africa won by six wickets

Oct 24, 2014: Maunganui South Africa won by 72 runs

Oct 27, 2014: Hamilton No result

WORLD CUP

Played 6

New Zealand wins: 4

South Africa wins: 2

Feb 29, 1992: Auckland New Zealand won by seven wickets

Feb 20, 1996: Faisalabad South Africa won by five wickets

June 10, 1999: Birmingham South Africa won by 74 runs

Feb 16, 2003: Johannesburg New Zealand won by nine wickets

Apr 14, 2007: St George's New Zealand won by five wickets

Mar 25, 2011: Dhaka New Zealand won by 49 runs

Key men who could make a difference

New Zealand

Martin Guptill

The New Zealand opener has woken from a year-long slump when needed most with his stunning 237 not out against West Indies in the quarter-finals continuing a growing return to form which includes 57 and 105 in his previous two innings.

He has repaid the faith shown in him by the selectors who included him in the World Cup squad despite a wretched run in the lead up to the tournament which included two golden ducks against Sri Lanka.

A strong driver of the ball, and mentored by New Zealand legend Martin Crowe, Guptill has found the form that means New Zealand can rest easy if fellow opener Brendon McCullum fails as he did against the West Indies.

South Africa

Hashim Amla

The fastest player to 20 ODI centuries -- in 111 matches -- and reaching the milestone with his 159 against Ireland in pool play, the elegant strokemaker is due another big one after averaging only 22 in three innings since.

The 31-year-old's ability to usually get among the runs cannot be questioned with South Africa captain AB de Villiers describing the opening batsman as the "rock" who can be relied on to lay a foundation at the top of the innings.

The Wisden Cricketer of the Year, and fastest batsman to score 4,000 ODI runs, should feel comfortable against the Black Caps pace attack after notching a century when South Africa made a brief tour of New Zealand in October.

AFP

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Updated Date: Mar 23, 2015 11:09:25 IST