Can the Black Caps Win the World Cup?
February 23, 2015
As we approach the end of the second week of the Cricket World Cup one team has taken the tournament by storm. Not only is New Zealand unbeaten after 3 games but the Co-hosts have hammered their opposition along the way! The Kiwis have all but qualified for the knock stages already and head into a mouth-watering clash with Australia in fantastic form. A win over the World Cup favourites would surely send out a message that the Black Caps are contenders.
Black Caps Cracking Cup Campaign so far
While New Zealand’s World Cup opening ceremony wasn’t so spectacular the Kiwis opening game was. They spanked Sri Lanka by 98 runs on day one after belting 331 with the bat before skittling the Sri Lankans for just 233. It was a perfect start in what should have been one of their toughest tests in the group stage. Scotland were meant to be easy beats but having bowled their opponents out for under 150, the Black Caps reply wasn’t entirely convincing. In an effort to end the match as early as possible, the home side lost 7 wickets chasing quick runs, before getting the job done with half an innings to spare.
Then came an obliteration of England. Having watched Australia destroy the Poms, New Zealand pounced on a fragile batting line up. They caused carnage in Wellington as England’s innings ended on just 123. Tim Southee was in seventh heaven taking all but 3 of the wickets. The run chase was very short but just as sweet. It was all over in 74 balls with Brendon McCullum blasting 77 runs off 25 of them.
New Zealand not a One Man Team
With that innings McCullum past 150 runs for the tournament so far at an average of over 52 and a strike rate near 183. First drop Kane Williamson is also averaging 52 with the willow. All-rounder Corey Anderson was man of the match in the opener having hit 75 with the bat before taking 2 wickets, while he had further success with the ball against Scotland claiming 2 more scalps. Tim Southee largely has England to thank for his 11 wickets while veteran spinner Daniel Vettori is has 6.
The Black Caps lead the way in Pool A but know they face their biggest challenge to date against the Aussies on Saturday. They’ll have home advantage though with the match being played at Eden Park in Auckland. New Zealand will then play 2 final group games they’d expect to win, especially in the form they’re in. They’ll take on World Cup debutants Afghanistan on March 8 before finishing their group stage against Bangladesh on March 13.