New Zealand and South Africa are both brimming with confidence going into their World Cup clash in Pune at 8.30am on Wednesday, 1st November.
The Black Caps, runners-up at the last two World Cups, have won four of their first six matches while South Africa extended their fine start to five victories out of six with a thrilling one-wicket win over Pakistan last time out.
New Zealand are under pressure after losing their last two games against India and Australia and they are 6/5 outsiders to beat 4/6 South Africa in Pune.
The teams have not met in an ODI since the 2019 World Cup when Kane Williamson’s unbeaten 106 steered New Zealand to a four-wicket win and Williamson is 3/1 to be his side’s Top Run Scorer.
South Africa have struck 67 sixes in their first six matches and they are 8/13 to hit the Most Match Sixes with New Zealand 13/8 and the Tie 15/2.
New Zealand captain Williamson is expected to return from a thumb injury but Mark Chapman is still struggling with a calf problem and fast bowler Lockie Ferguson (heel) is out.
Paceman Kagiso Rabada missed South Africa’s win over Pakistan due to a back problem but should be fit to return against the Kiwis.
South Africa Fall Of First Wicket Over 33.5 @ 5/6
South Africa’s flying start to their World Cup campaign has included totals of 428-5 against Sri Lanka, 399-7 against England and 382-5 against Bangladesh and opener Quinton de Kock has been at the heart of their success.
The left-hander scored 109 in the Proteas’ win over Australia and 174 against Bangladesh, propelling him to the top of the tournament run scoring chart, and he can help his side make another strong start in Pune.
De Kock scored 84 not out in last month’s warm-up game against New Zealand and South Africa are worth backing to post a first-wicket stand of over 33.5 in the rematch.
Australia openers David Warner and Travis Head put on 175 in 19.1 overs in the Kiwis’ last game and New Zealand may struggle to take early wickets against Wednesday’s in-form opponents.
Rachin Ravindra New Zealand Top Run Scorer @ 7/2
South Africa’s batters have lit up the early weeks of the World Cup but so too has New Zealand’s Rachin Ravindra, one of the breakout stars of the tournament.
Ravindra marked his World Cup debut with a dazzling century against England, following up with a fluent fifty against the Netherlands, and he has enhanced his reputation in recent defeats to India and Australia.
He scored 75 against a top-class India attack in Dharamshala before racking up another century – 116 off just 89 runs – in Saturday’s five-run loss to the Aussies.
Even with skipper Williamson set to return, Ravindra looks a solid pick to top-score for New Zealand.