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ICC World Cup 2019 | Desperate West Indies Battle Unbeaten New Zealand to Keep Campaign Alive

Cricketnext Staff |June 22, 2019, 7:41 AM IST
ICC World Cup 2019 | Desperate West Indies Battle Unbeaten New Zealand to Keep Campaign Alive

Two teams on two opposite ends of the spectrum will come face to face in match 29 of the ICC World Cup 2019. While New Zealand, unbeaten in the tournament so far, are coming off a tough win against South Africa, West Indies were handed a solid spanking in the last outing against Bangladesh where they failed to defend 321.

West Indies are not yet out of the competition but they are hanging by a thread. They need to win against New Zealand, win big and hope most other permutations and combinations work their way.

West Indies started their World Cup campaign with a bang, demolishing Pakistan by seven wickets. But since then, things have gone from bad to worse for the Caribbeans and they have suffered three defeats (against Australia, England and Bangladesh) while the game against South Africa was washed out.

The defeat against Bangladesh would have, in particular, hurt West Indies. Evin Lewis, Shai Hope and Shimron Hetmyer all scored half-centuries to propel the side to 321/8. But Bangladesh, led by the ageless Shakib Al Hasan chased down the target with 50 balls to spare.

West Indies' one-dimensional attack is what is hurting them the most. Jason Holder, Oshane Thomas, Shannon Gabriel and Andre Russell are all of a similar mould and pace. They have been good in patches but once the batsmen get used to them it has been easy pickings. The Islanders have to find a way to somehow incorporate spinner Ashley Nurse in this setup and break the monotony. Another area where the West Indians have really been disappointing is their fielding. There were innumerable fielding lapses and dropped catches in the previous game against Bangladesh and that is one area they will really have to buck up.

West Indies are currently lying seventh in the 10-team standings with just three points in their kitty and they can’t afford any further loss to stay in the mix for a semifinal spot.

New Zealand, on the other hand, are sitting pretty at the second spot with nine points, which includes four wins out of five games with the match against India being washed out. Their hard-fought win against South Africa would have bound to give them a lot of confidence and as they now enter the last half of the group stage Kane Williamson will hope his side retains the intensity.

New Zealand

New Zealand have so far defeated Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and South Africa but their real test starts now as after West Indies, they will have three tough encounters against Pakistan, Australia and England, so stepping the foot away from the gas is not an option.

The bowlers have largely done the job but the batting unit is yet to click as a unit. Williamson orchestrated a terrific chase against South Africa while Colin de Grandhomme was also effective. However against higher-ranked nations, the captain will hope for the likes of Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, Ross Taylor and Tom Latham to get going and contribute big.

They encounter will take place at Old Trafford, in Manchester. The two games take place so far at this venue have been real high-scoring ones and one might expect the same considering the fire power the two lineups boast of. Weather has also been a factor at Manchester but the forecast for Saturday (June 22) largely looks clear.

Last Five ODIs

New Zealand: W NR W W W

It has been a superb campaign so far for the Blackcaps. They brushed aside Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan quite comfortably and with a hard-fought win over South Africa, they are yet unbeaten.

West Indies: L L NR L W

The West Indies started off with a bang totally outplaying Pakistan but their campaign has since gone south. Losses against Australia, England and Bangladesh would not have helped their confidence any bit amp the Islanders will hope to give a good account of themselves against New Zealand.

Players to watch out for

Martin Guptill: The opener started off his World Cup with a smashing 73* against Sri Lanka but has since not been able to convert any of his starts. He was looking good against South Africa last time around but unfortunately slipped while going for a run and was out hit-wicket. Someone who likes the ball coming onto the bat, Guptill will fancy his chances against the West Indies pacers.

Shimron Hetmyer: With an emphatic 26-ball 50 against Bangladesh last time around, Hetmyer showed the kind of talent he possesses. He already has four centuries and three half-centuries to his name and will be hoping to get another big one on what is expected to be a flat Old Trafford deck.

Team News/Availability

New Zealand: They don’t have any injury concerns and Williamson has a full squad to pick his final XI from.

West Indies: They are still fretting on Andre Russell's fitness and in case he is not fit, Ashley Nurse might come into the fray.

Squads:

New Zealand: Kane Williamson (Captain), Tom Blundell, Trent Boult, Colin de Grandhomme, Lockie Ferguson, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Colin Munro, James Neesham, Henry Nicholls, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee.

West Indies: Jason Holder (Captain), Fabian Allen, Carlos Brathwaite, Darren Bravo, Sheldon Cottrell, Shannon Gabriel, Chris Gayle, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope, Evin Lewis, Ashley Nurse, Nicholas Pooran, Kemar Roach, Andre Russell, Oshane Thomas.

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Team Rankings

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 3631 113
2 New Zealand 2547 111
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 3778 105
5 Australia 2640 98
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6745 125
2 India 6939 122
3 New Zealand 4837 112
4 Australia 5543 111
5 South Africa 5193 110
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7365 283
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4196 262
4 India 8099 261
5 Australia 5471 261
see more
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