West Indies face rampaging New Zealand in a must-win game
MANCHESTER – Having failed to replicate their success from the first game against Pakistan, West Indies need to win each of their remaining four matches to stay in contention for the semi-finals race.
West Indies have failed to combine as a team and produce match-winning results in their last few matches. Despite registering a par score of 321/8, Bangladesh chased down the total with 8.3 overs to spare as the bowlers failed to find their right lengths. Their senior players, Chris Gayle and Andre Russell haven't produced any performance of note, putting the lesser experienced middle order under further pressure.
As the race to the semi-finals stiffens, Jason Holder's men will need to put up a disciplined effort to rise against their dipping form and script a turnaround.
New Zealand, on the other hand, have been steadily moving to a position of strength at the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2019, winning each of their four completed games so far. While results against Afghanistan and Sri Lanka were a product of flair, their big players rising to the occasion saw them over the line against South Africa. Each of their three all-rounders, Jimmy Neesham, Colin de Grandhomme and Mitchell Santner have performed on either fronts, contributing to a formidable balance.
Key Players:Shai Hope (West Indies): In a batting order which is struggling to stitch match-winning partnerships, Shai Hope has been the glue designated to hold the innings together. The wicket-keeper batsman, who missed his century by four runs against Bangladesh, will hope to repeat his performance from the warm-ups, wherein he scored 101 against the Black Caps.
Martin Guptill (New Zealand): Martin Guptill looked well set for a big score against South Africa, before being dismissed hit-wicket for 35. Guptill, who will have fond memories from the previous edition of the flagship event, where he scored a World Cup record 237* in the quarter-finals against West Indies, will eye for another big score.
It's expected to be dry and warmer in Manchester on Saturday. Some patchy fair-weather cloud is likely to develop, but otherwise there would be a good deal of sunny spells. Results from the last two games played at Old Trafford might tempt both the captains to bat first.
Squads:West Indies: Jason Holder (c), Fabian Allen, Darren Bravo, Shannon Gabriel, Shimron Hetmyer, Evin Lewis, Nicholas Pooran, Andre Russell, Carlos Brathwaite, Sheldon Cottrell, Chris Gayle, Shai Hope, Ashley Nurse, Kemar Roach, Oshane Thomas
New Zealand: Kane Williamson (c), Ross Taylor, Tom Latham (wk), Tom Blundell (wk), Mitchell Santner, Colin de Grandhomme, Lockie Ferguson, Tim Southee, Trent Boult, Colin Munro, Ish Sodhi, Henry Nicholls, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Jimmy Neesha. –ICC
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