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Zim Seek Upset Over Mediocre Black Caps


The winner of New Zealand and Zimbabwe's clash in Ahmedabad on Friday will be one step closer to the quarter-finals of the tournament.

With minnows Canada and Kenya bringing up the rear end of Group A, either New Zealand or Zimbabwe will  be making the last eight of the tournament, and this match will go a long way to determining who that might be.

Daniel Vettori will be seeking a response from his players after they were convincingly crushed by Australia in their last fixture, while Zimbabwe will be hoping to ride the momentum of their swashbuckling 175-run victory against Canada.

Several of the Kiwis' top rated players are yet to fire in this World Cup and the likes of Brendon McCullum, Taylor and Ryder could set the place alight here.

The Black Caps have played poor cricket in the lead up to this tournament and that will give Zimbabwe a glimmer of hope. However, if New Zealand bowl well here, its batting lineup should secure a comfortable win against the Zimbabweans.

New Zealand will be looking for consistency and Vettori will be expecting the likes of Ross Taylor and Scott Styris to spend some time out in the middle.

The Kiwi middle order has looked brittle at best this tournament, and if they are going to pose any sort of threat in this World Cup, the batting has to come good.

Zimbabwe will take inspiration from Ireland’s shocking win over England and will looking to rise to the occasion.

New Zealand (probable): Martin Guptill, Brendon McCullum (wk), Jesse Ryder, Ross Taylor, Scott Styris, Jamie How, James Franklin, Daniel Vettori (c), Nathan McCullum, Tim Southee, Hamish Bennett

Zimbabwe (probable): Brendon Taylor, Charles Coventry, Tatenda Taibu (wk), Craig Ervine, Elton Chigumbura (c), Sean Williams, Greg Lamb, Prosper Utseya, Greame Cremer, Ray Price, Chris Mpofu.

Hard hitting wicket-keeper batsmen Brendon McCullum and left hander Jesse Ryder will be looking to occupy the crease against Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe will not feel all that threatened with this New Zealand pace attack. Lacking the sting of Shane Bond and Jacob Oram, the sting is a lot less intimidating than it once was.

Both Brendan Taylor and Craig Ervine will be looking to capitalise on this meek bowling line up.

New Zealand may very well open up here as they face an attack predominantly made up of spin bowlers, with the African side having enjoyed success with their four-pronged spin attack that includes Price, Cremer, Lamb and Utseya.

While the tactic may have worked so far, it is fraught with danger and if Brendon McCullum or Ryder, who will open and bat at No.3 respectively, can impose themselves on this game, their aggressive style is likely to result in runs-a-plenty.



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