World Cup 2015 Group B Match 3 Preview : South Africa vs Zimbabwe; Favorites against Minnows
Updated - Feb 14, 2015 3:00 pm
Date: Feb 15, 2015 Time: 0630 IST
Venue: Seddon Park, Hamilton
World Cup 2015 Group B Match 3 Preview : South Africa vs Zimbabwe; Favorites against Minnows: The Pool B match between South Africa and Zimbabwe is clearly seen as one between the tournament favourites and a team that was once on the cusp of being the most wonderful team to transform from minnows to a cricketing power.
South Africa and Zimbabwe are 1-1 in World cup meetings. South Africa beat Zimbabwe in 1992 World cup and Zimbabwe returned the favour back in 1999 world cup when they beat South Africa thanks to Neil Johnson’s 76 runs and 3 for 27.
Elton Chigumbura leads the number 10 ranked Zimbabwe in hopes to perform admirably in the tournament. Gone are the days when fans expected big setups from them, but they would expect them to beat the other minnows from their group.
Zimbabwe’s batting mainstays are opener Hamilton Masakadza, former Captain Brendan Taylor, Sean Williams and Craig Ervine. Masakadza comes off a century in the warm up match win over Sri Lanka. Their biggest asset is Brendan Taylor and Zimbabwe will try to revolve their batting around him.
Their bowling is nothing to write home, but the clearing of Prosper Utseya’s action will be like a shot in the arm for them. He is their main strike bowler and he will expect support from the likes of Tinashe Panyangara, Tendai Chatara, and Stuart Matsikenyeri.
Zimbabwe will take heart from the fact that their win over Australia in the tri-series last year is still in the minds of South Africa as captain AB de Villiers mentioned in the pre-game press conference that,”Look, they beat Australia not long ago. They’re a very dangerous side.”
The Proteas will look forward to start their World cup on a winning note and shed their tag of chokers. They did well in the warm up games despite losing a match to New Zealand.
Their batting has gathered tremendous form thanks to a run fest series against the West Indies and they have their top order in great touch. The batting is obviously centered on Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers, while Faf du Plessis, Quinton de Kock, David Miller and JP Duminy provide the support and fireworks in the far end of innings. Their only concern is the back injury of Farhaan Behardien. If he fails to get fit, then the team would have to look for options to replace him.
Their bowling is headed by the no.1 bowler in the world Dale Steyn and by Morne Morkel, whose height will aid him on the bouncy Australian pitches. They are supported by Kyle Abbott, Wayne Parnell while the spin department is led by Imran Tahir and JP Duminy. (Also Read South Africa at Cricket World Cup Player by Player Analysis)
The match would be focused on Zimbabwe trying to regain their lost glory and South Africa proving a point with a big win.
Last 5 ODIs:
South Africa: W L W W W
Zimbabwe : L L L L L
Possible playing XI:
South Africa : AB de Villiers (c), Hashim Amla, Kyle Abbott, Quinton de Kock (wk), JP Duminy, Faf du Plessis, Imran Tahir, David Miller, Morne Morkel, Rilee Rossouw, Dale Steyn.
Zimbabwe: Elton Chigumbura (c), Sikandar Raza, Regis Chakabva (wk), Craig Ervine, Hamilton Masakadza, Stuart Matsikenyeri,Tawanda Mupariwa, Tinashe Panyangara, Brendan Taylor, Prosper Utseya, Sean Williams.