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  1. #1
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    ICC World Cup 2019 Preview: 2015 runners-up New Zealand look to go one better in England

    Whenever you discuss New Zealand, you always think of them as being 'one of the strong sides'. But the Black Caps are rarely known as the favourites for a world tournament. With teams such as England and India ruling the roost, Kane Williamson's men once again go into the tournament as a team many expect to qualify for the semi-finals, but not a team that's considered likely to win the prestigious trophy. The Black Caps have a leader who is captaining his side in a World Cup for the first time, after the retirement of Brendon McCullum, while the likes of Grant Elliott have also retired. However, with the likes of Martin Guptill, Ross Taylor, Trent Boult and Tim Southee still forming the core of the team alongside Kane Williamson, the players will have high expectations from themselves.




    Strengths:

    New Zealand have two main strong points which can lead any team to a tournament title. One is a strong and settled middle-order with Kane Williamson always a solid #3, adaptable to different conditions and always able to score runs at a good rate. But most crucial to their batting hopes will be Ross Taylor, whose rich vein of form in the past couple of seasons sees him at #3 in the ODI batting rankings, just behind Indian behemoths Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma. The Black Caps' second strength is their pace-bowling attack. At the fore of this bowling attack is #2 ranked ODI bowler, Trent Boult, an experienced campaigner who will be the go-to guy for his captain at any stage of the innings. Bowlers such as Matt Henry, Lockie Ferguson and Mitchell Santner are not to be underestimated either.


    Weaknesses:

    One of the worries for New Zealand going into the World Cup will be the openers. In Martin Guptill, the Black Caps have someone who is not extremely consistent, though he is capable of winning matches if he plays a long innings. However, Colin Munro who forms the other half of the partnership has just 1 fifty in his last 17 ODI innings. Henry Nicholls opened the batting on a few occasions with limited success. Another worry for them will be Tom Latham's fitness. The batsman is crucial for their middle-order but is currently recovering from a finger-injury with little time remaining before the start of the tournament.


    Players to watch:

    Lockie Ferguson has quietly been imposing himself on the international scene. The speedster has been in excellent form for the past 2 years and possesses the pace to unsettle any batting lineup in the World Cup. Jimmy Neesham was out of contention for the national team for long periods, but has returned with the aura of a man who wants to achieve something on the biggest stage. His lower-order firepower and pace-bowling will be crucial for New Zealand's balance. Ish Sodhi did not take part in the Champions Trophy in 2017, but has performed well since his return to the side, picking up wickets on a consistent basis. His leg-spin will provide a wicket-taking threat in the middle overs for Kane Williamson.


    Prediction:

    With all the focus on the likes of England and India, the Black Caps once again go into a World Cup as the dark horses of the tournament. Having reached the final in the 2015 edition of the tournament, they'll look to go one better in England. But can they do it? Time will tell. With a evenly-balanced squad, you would back them to make it to the semi-finals but further than that might be a tough hurdle to cross for Kane Williamson's men.


    Full squad:

    Kane Williamson (c)
    Tom Blundell
    Trent Boult
    Colin de Grandhomme
    Lockie Ferguson
    Martin Guptill
    Matt Henry
    Tom Latham
    Colin Munro
    James Neeshan
    Henry Nicholls
    Mitchell Santner
    Ish Sodhi
    Tim Southee
    Ross Taylor


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  2. #2
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    Now this team is original" dark horses"unlike w.i .if the pitches are like India game expect them to bundle out quite a few team for low scores.

    The only issue they have munro and guptill not looking convincing since india series .hopefully they will get back to form quickly

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by saeed5646 View Post
    Now this team is original" dark horses"unlike w.i .if the pitches are like India game expect them to bundle out quite a few team for low scores.

    The only issue they have munro and guptill not looking convincing since india series .hopefully they will get back to form quickly
    “Dark Horse” is someone who enters to unexpected prominence. In sports term, someone or some team that often surprises opponents and achieve unexpected high.

    Kiwis are 4th in ODI ranking, with 1 point behind 3rd, and they are defending runners up - don’t think making the Final or even winning it makes them dark horse. Lots of people do expect them to make the SF and after that it’s about two good days - whoever enters SF, all 4 will have the capability to win two KO games after preliminary rounds with 9 hard fought games.

    WIN are least expected to make SF, but they have few individuals who can win a game or two alone on their day - for example Hetmyer, guy has 41/111 stats in ODI and all his 4 hundreds ended up winning the game against odds. WIN has the capability to surprise many teams, different story if they can do it or not. If Kiwis even win the WC, I don’t think many will be surprised- they are one of the weak contenders, but a genuine contender.

  4. #4
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    New Zealand have a great chance of reaching the final four. They are looking good and have a good balance in their squad.

  5. #5
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    Their fortunes are highly dependent on top in batting like India..



  6. #6
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    Kane Williamson would not be surprised if the mixed fortune New Zealand experienced in their two warm-up games is replicated when the World Cup gets up and running.

    Kane Williamson would not be surprised if the mixed fortune New Zealand experienced in their two warm-up games is replicated when the World Cup gets up and running.

    The Black Caps enjoyed a dominant six-wicket triumph against India in their first match at The Oval, bowling out their opposition for 179 before knocking the runs off in 37.1 overs.

    But they were handed a 91-run defeat in their second warm-up encounter at the Bristol County Ground by the West Indies, who piled on 421 runs with an explosive batting display.

    And while Kiwi skipper Williamson was cautious about reading too much into the two contrasting results, he anticipates there could be plenty of topsy-turvy games in the coming weeks.

    “I guess in some ways it’s going to be a reflection of what we may see throughout this tournament, we’re not 100 per cent sure on the surfaces we will be on,” he said.

    “We know that we will be expecting some to play like this and then we saw the other day it certainly wasn’t like that, but it’s been two really good hit-outs for us.

    “I guess you can’t ask for too much more when you have warm-up games like that, we had guys executing different skills here on a small ground with a good surface.

    “They got put under a huge amount of pressure and it was a really good hit-out all around. It’s a small ground and the West Indies have a huge amount of power.

    “If you combine those two things together and they get going, it can be a very challenging task, but I thought the guys stuck to what they were trying to do really well.”

    Trent Boult (4/50) finished with the best bowling figures for New Zealand while Shai Hope (101) smashed a century for the Windies, with Evin Lewis (50) and Andre Russell (54) contributing rapid fifties.

    But despite watching his bowlers get struck to all parts of the ground, Williamson was pleased with way his side performed and said the result could have been different on another day.

    “We did create a number of opportunities that on another day could go to hand, that’s the way it goes and we know how powerful this West Indies side can be when they get going,” he said.

    “But it was a really good hit-out for us. In our first game as a bowling unit we didn’t perhaps get to try out some different phases as the wicket was a different surface.

    “We certainly managed that against the West Indies, it was a good surface and we were trying to defend for a large period of that innings.

    “Guys were able to come back for their second and third spells and try to implement what they wanted to do against some of the best hitters in the world.”

    Another positive for New Zealand was a century for Tom Blundell (106), who could potentially be called on as the replacement wicket-keeper should Tom Latham be unavailable due to a finger injury.

    “He spent some time in the middle and it was a brilliant knock, so it was a real positive for him. He was picked on the tour as the back-up keeper depending on how Tom recovers,” said Williamson.

    “It’s a day-by-day thing with Tom but he is recovering well. We do hope he will be fit and ready, but Blundell has kept really nicely in the place of Latham at the moment so it’s a good problem.”



  7. #7
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    The same people who were rating them highly after the ind performance are not rating them anymore lol.

  8. #8
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    Boult plays down importance of recent success against Sri Lanka

    Familiar foes following their recent ODI series, Trent Boult believes past encounters will count for nothing when New Zealand and Sri Lanka meet in their ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019 opener.

    Pitted together on the opening weekend of this year’s tournament, the two sides went head-to-head as recently as January, with New Zealand running out 3-0 series winners on home soil.

    Coming against tournament rivals, the temptation could have been to see the standout result as a sign of things to come on Saturday in Cardiff.

    But fast bowler Boult, who warmed up for the clash with four wickets in the defeat to West Indies on Tuesday, insists a different challenge entirely awaits his teammates in the pressure cooker of a World Cup.

    “We played them just recently in home conditions, but who knows what to expect going into these ICC events,” he said.

    “Anyone is there for the taking and I’m sure they’ll be excited and passionate as well. I’m looking forward to the challenge.”

    Winning the toss at the County Ground and electing to field, 2015 finalists New Zealand were stunned by a fine display of hitting from the West Indies, who posted 421 – their biggest-ever one-day score.

    That Herculean task ultimately proved beyond the Black Caps despite fine knocks from captain Kane Williamson and World Cup novice Tom Blundell – a centurion on the eve of his competition debut – and Boult highlighted several areas for tangible improvement if they are to improve on their runners-up tag from four years ago.

    “A lot of credit is due for the way they came out and put us under pressure. We felt that pressure,” added Boult, who also took four wickets against India at The Oval on Saturday.

    “The plans will need to be sharpened up. We can talk as much as we want off the field and put plans in place, but the main thing is putting the ball where we want.

    “It would be obtuse of me to think that we would be facing conditions like the Oval on every occasion, but it was nice to get a feel for a good wicket and be put under a bit of pressure as well.

    “It’s been a good build-up. There’s some good competition for spots – that’s the main thing. The guys have been together for a while now and we know what works.

    “The way T20 cricket goes, it can come down to six or 12 runs at the end of it, and ODI cricket is becoming an extended version of T20 cricket in my opinion.

    “If you can make those big 17 or 18-run overs into 12-run overs, that can make a big difference in the end.

    “If we’re clear on that, we can go a fair way in this tournament.”


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  9. #9
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    New Zealand are flying low at the World Cup and that suits them down to the ground, according to James Franklin.

    The seven-time semi-finalists are playing it cool in England and Wales, with the understated Kane Williamson at the helm.

    Since the last ICC Men's Cricket World Cup, New Zealand have risen as high as second in the world rankings but have been beaten at home by South Africa, England and India.

    Franklin, who made 15 World Cup appearances in his career, is quietly confident Williamson's side can reach the final four again.

    "New Zealand are in a sweet spot. No-one's talking about us too much," said Franklin, speaking at the Opening Party on The Mall in London.

    "We're forever the underdogs and that suits us quite well.

    "We haven't been leading the world, I think England have been in front in recent years, but we've still been playing very consistent cricket.

    "If we can get some form going over the next few weeks, there's no reason why New Zealand couldn't go on and win the World Cup.

    "I think the New Zealand public and team will be confident they can go deep into the tournament."

    Brendon McCullum overhauled the Kiwi cricket culture to lead the country to the 2015 final on home soil, falling to Australia at the final hurdle.

    Williamson, who has made 11 ODI centuries, has taken up the mantle with New Zealand winning 43 and losing 30 games since the 2015 showpiece.

    The Black Caps skipper has plenty of senior figures around him in England & Wales, with world number three batsman Ross Taylor and Martin Guptill adding experience.

    Franklin revealed Williamson's batting is very much like his captaincy - measured, tactical but just as steely as his rivals.

    "I think Kane has a quietness about him, but he's assertive and he knows what he wants," he said.

    "In terms of his leadership, his batting is probably a reflection of it. It's methodical, but sneakily efficient and world-class.

    "I think his captaincy is exactly the same. I don't think he's a Brendon McCullum-style leader, when you see everything and it's attacking.

    "Kane is measured, but knows exactly how he wants to manage his bowlers, his batsmen and what he wants New Zealand cricket to achieve."


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  10. #10
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    ‘He’s slightly ahead of time’ – Black Caps confident of Latham fitness ahead of CWC19 opener

    Latham had been a doubt for his side’s opening game after breaking his finger during a warm-up game in Australia earlier this month.

    While he is yet to play a game since the injury, the 27-year-old took full part in a training session on Thursday, 30 May, and remains on track to be available for selection for New Zealand’s first World Cup game, against Sri Lanka on Saturday, 1 June.

    “He’s probably slightly ahead of time,” said Gary Stead, the New Zealand head coach. “So far Tom’s reached all the milestones that we’ve wanted him to, and today was another step, taking balls with more heat on them and making him dive and jump around a wee bit more. It’s a bit bent from what happened, but he’s had no pain so far, which means the bone has knitted back well.”

    However, both Stead and Latham preached caution, explaining that how Latham’s finger reacts to the training session is as important as the fact that he got through it. “It’s nice to get through training today but we’ll still wait and see how it pulls up tonight and tomorrow,” Latham explained.

    If Latham does need more time to recover, the Black Caps will feel assured due to the form of their back-up keeper, Tom Blundell. Though he’s yet to make his ODI debut, the youngster scored a century in New Zealand’s final warm-up game against West Indies, and looks set to step up if needed.

    “He played a fantastic innings,” acknowledged Latham. “Even the way he went in Australia before we came over here, he’s certainly hitting the ball really well and the ball looks like it’s going into the gloves nicely. It’s a nice confidence boost for him to get some runs against a good West Indies attack and Australia as well.”

    https://www.cricketworldcup.com/news/en/1231069

  11. #11
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    I enjoy watching underdogs win battles but not wars. NZ have always done this - firecely competitive but they do not win World cups. But the difference this time is that they are no longer underdogs.

  12. #12
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    Kane Williamson knows there is more than one way to win a match and the Kiwi skipper has forecast a return to the ‘scrappy’ one-day cricket of the past if they are to lift the World Cup in 2019.

    Brendon McCullum’s master blasters destroyed all in their path on their way to the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup final four years ago on home soil.

    But in the final against Australia their all-out aggression came unstuck and they had to settle for a runners-up finish in the end.

    Fast-forward to 2019, and Williamson is now in charge of a Black Caps side that sit fourth in the ODI rankings and kick off their campaign in Cardiff on Saturday against Sri Lanka.

    And in English conditions – despite plenty of pre-tournament chat about hitting the mythical 500-mark – Williamson insists adaptability rather than aggression is the order of the day.

    “There has been a lot of talk about really high scores but I think there will be a number of games where that isn’t the case and it will require adjustment,” he said.

    “For us at the last World Cup, there was a trend in how we played. It was about being smart with the crop that we had to try and get the best performance.

    “That meant we were aggressive, the ball swung and we looked to use that.

    “We are yet to know how things will shape in this tournament, but the last few years we have been growing and it is about adjusting to the day.

    “Guys maybe will have to push harder on a particular surface on a given day, but equally it might be about adjusting to what one-day cricket used to look a little bit like. Scores that are a bit lower and much more of that scrappy type.

    “There will not be one way to play.

    “We know that not every game will be a 350 score, and it’s important to be made aware of that as we go throughout this tournament.

    “It’s easy to get ahead of yourself and think, this is what we are going to need to do versus what do we need to do now in this current situation to give us the best chance?”

    Nowhere was that more evident than in their warm-up clashes against India and West Indies.

    They skittled India in a comfortable low-scoring win at The Oval, before being edged out by the Caribbean outfit in a run-fest at Bristol.

    But the Kiwis have a clean bill of health ahead of the Sri Lanka clash, a side they beat handsomely four years ago, coincidentally also in their World Cup opener.

    That means wicket-keeper Tom Latham is back fit and firing from a finger injury that forced him out of the warm-ups.

    And despite a 3-0 series win over Sri Lanka on home soil back at the start of the year, Williamson is not going to underestimate their opponents.

    “I don’t know how much the past really counts for as we come into a tournament. It is on the day and we know in this competition that every team can beat any of the other teams,” he added.

    “We are certainly treating all of our matches like that and want to bring the focus back onto the cricket we want to play.

    “We know the Sri Lankan side is a bit different to the one we played at home, but we have no doubt that they are a tough side.”


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  13. #13
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    There’s a relaxed mood around the New Zealand camp as the players fulfil their media duties at the team’s hotel in London; the understated confidence of a side that feel they’ve got all bases covered in the lead-up to the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019.
    Trent Boult, the left-arm fast bowler who finished as the tournament’s joint-highest wicket-taker when the Black Caps reached the final four years ago, is right in the thick of things – laughing, joking, winding up his teammates.

    Tim Southee, who shares the new ball with Boult and was groomsman at his wedding last year, is more reserved and happy to take a backseat. Until, that is, he’s asked to stand nose-to-nose with Boult in front of the camera for a game of "You Laugh, You Lose".

    The rules are simple: try not to laugh while your teammate tells you a silly joke. Southee is hopeless, unable to even deliver his own joke before bursting into a fit of giggles. Boult’s incredulous. “How are you so bad at this?”

    Southee and Boult have spent a lot of time in each other’s company over the last decade. Club teammates at Northern Districts and new-ball partners at the 2008 ICC Under 19 Cricket World Cup in Malaysia (where Southee took 17 wickets at 6.64 and Boult 11 at 10.90), Southee graduated to the senior national side that same year, before Boult followed in 2011.

    The pair now have 926 international wickets between them, sitting third and fourth in the list of New Zealand’s most prolific Test bowlers (Boult is on 246, two ahead of Southee) and forming arguably the most potent new-ball partnership in ODI cricket. Certainly, when you combine output and longevity, they stand alone.

    Asked to pick out the best spell he’s seen from his partner in crime, Boult immediately recalls Southee’s career-best haul against England at the 2015 World Cup, when the Kiwis romped to an eight-wicket win at Wellington with 37.4 overs to spare. “7/34 was it?” “7/33,” corrects Southee.

    “There are a number of spells of Trent’s,” continues Southee, “but since we’re approaching a World Cup I’ll say that spell against Australia in 2015 [when Boult took 5/27 in front of a packed house at Eden Park in a nail-biting one-wicket victory]. To come back and rip their middle order in half and turn the game on its head was pretty special to watch. But I could be here all day. There’s a number of times he’s bowled extremely well and it’s been great to be at the other end and have the best seat in the house to watch it.”

    Boult and Southee were able to take full advantage of the swing on offer at the last World Cup but they aren’t expecting the same kind of assistance this time around.

    “The ball hasn’t really been swinging much in the white-ball formats as a whole,” says Boult. “It definitely hasn’t moved around like it did back in 2015. But the strength of the bowling group we have here, we don’t just rely on swing, we can find other ways to take wickets. Whoever can adapt to the conditions, they’re going to have the most success. That’s going to be the big challenge.”

    The very next day Boult and Southee find conditions to their liking in a warm-up fixture at The Oval, scripting a six-wicket victory over much-fancied India. Boult is the star of the show with 4/33, taking out three of the Indian top four, while Southee delivers seven parsimonious overs, conceding just 26 runs and snaring the key wicket of MS Dhoni.

    As it has been for so long now, the Boult-Southee combination is running like clockwork.

    Memories of the 2015 World Cup, hosted by New Zealand and Australia, are still fresh in the mind. And despite the Black Caps losing the final to Australia, Boult insists those reflections are overwhelmingly positive, with the impact of the tournament still being felt back home.

    “Those are still some of the fondest memories of my career to date, having it in our own backyard in front of all our families and friends. It was a great time. To get to the final and fall over at that last hurdle was frustrating and disappointing but it’s been great for the game and the country. Hopefully we can go one better at Lord’s.”

    “Rugby is massive in New Zealand,” adds Southee, “and I think every sporty kid grows up wanting to be an All Black. But hopefully after that 2015 World Cup a few more kids are growing up wanting to be Black Caps. I think it has changed the way people view cricket in New Zealand.”

    As is usually the way, New Zealand are regarded by many as underdogs to lift the title, but with an impressive pedigree in the competition – they have only failed to reach the semi-finals once in the last five World Cups, and they only missed out in 2003 after forfeiting their game against Kenya due to security concerns – no opposition will be taking them lightly. Not when they have Southee and Boult to contend with.

    “Historically we’ve done well in World Cups of late,” says Southee, “and I guess it’s the Kiwi way to fly under the radar and just go about our business. As people we quite like that. It sits well with us.”

    https://www.cricketworldcup.com/news...31798/featured


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  14. #14
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    NZ aren't a dark horse. They have played good cricket for a while. West Indies are more of a dark horse.

  15. #15
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    Lockie Ferguson pace has Matt Henry purring after impressive New Zealand victory

    Matt Henry bounced back from his warm-up woes with three wickets in New Zealand’s opening win over Sri Lanka.

    Matt Henry bounced back from his warm-up woes with three wickets in New Zealand’s opening win over Sri Lanka.

    But it was the raw speed of Lockie Ferguson that grabbed the headlines and his teammate Henry feels variety is the key to the Kiwi attack.

    Henry came in for some treatment in their warm-up loss against the West Indies earlier this week but his nagging line and length with the new ball earned him figures of 3/29 in this ten-wicket win in Cardiff.

    Meanwhile, Ferguson (3/22) played the role of the Black Caps enforcer, regularly breaking 90mph with a barrage of short stuff that the Sri Lankans found too much to handle.

    The early stages of this ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup have been a story of fast bowling, with England’s Jofra Archer and the West Indies both to the fore.

    And Henry is delighted that Ferguson is doing the damage for the runners-up from four years ago.

    “Lockie was fantastic, he has been bowling well with some good pace for the last couple of years now,” said Henry.

    “It was great to have someone like him come in, and the way he bowled, he hit his length beautifully and deserved his wickets.

    “Everyone stood up and took wickets in the whole bowling unit which made it hard for Sri Lanka to get settled.

    “But it is brilliant to have someone who bowls with those kind of wheels in the team and obviously comes in and gives 100 (per cent) every time.

    “He came out and bowled with good heat and was really accurate, with some good bumpers and was really accurate as well. That is why he picked up three big wickets for us.”

    This was an impressive first win for the Black Caps, seeing off Sri Lanka with the minimum of fuss after bowling them out for 136.

    Bangladesh are next up and while momentum is already building, Henry is keeping his feet firmly on the ground.

    “We all knew that we could come out and start strong, and as a bowling group we knew we had to take wickets up front and we delivered that nicely,” he added.

    “We don’t want to get too carried away, obviously that was just the first game of the tournament. But to start like that was exactly what we wanted to do.

    “We wanted to come out and make sure we were putting them under pressure early on on that wicket.

    “Thankfully we did that and then the way Colin (Munro) and Guppy (Martin Guptill) chased it down was brilliant.”

    Tim Southee missed this first game with injury but is likely to be back in time for their second clash, and Henry knows that every man will have to play a role this summer.

    “I think with the way this tournament is structured it is a 15-man squad, you have to use it throughout the tournament,” he added.

    “I think we (the seamers) all offer slightly different skills as well, so to be a part of this bowling attack is a pretty cool thing.

    “We will keep pushing ourselves forward and keep bowling to the conditions that we find.

    “It is important to take wickets in these tournaments. This morning we were presented with a wicket that we knew we had to come out hot, and try and be as positive as possible.”


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  16. #16
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    Colin Munro knew he needed to make a mark early on at this year’s World Cup – and now the hard-hitting left hander insists New Zealand are ready to shine after a ‘perfect’ opening performance.

    Colin Munro knew he needed to make a mark early on at this year’s World Cup – and now the hard-hitting left hander insists New Zealand are ready to shine after a ‘perfect’ opening performance.

    Munro came in at the top of the order for the Black Caps in Cardiff on Saturday and fired an unbeaten half century alongside Martin Guptill as they made light work of Sri Lanka’s total of 136.

    A 10-wicket win was just what the doctor ordered for the Black Caps and for Munro – who got his chance with Henry Nicholls ruled out through injury.

    This was only his second half century in his last 18 ODIs – a run that stretches back to January of last year.

    And the 32-year-old was delighted to end his lean patch and help his side to a victory on the biggest stage of all.

    “It was pretty much a perfect performance! But we can’t get too far ahead of ourselves. We have still got eight games to go and have got to win as many of them as we can,” he said.

    “But we will take this one, we have played really well. We know if we can get off to a good start then that bodes well.

    “I have made a few little adjustments to my technique which seemed to work and hopefully will do moving forward as well.

    “For me it is about taking every opportunity as I can. I didn’t have a great summer at home in one day cricket so to get the opportunity now and to do well, I am not going to lie I am very pleased.

    “What makes me strive harder is to try and get better and better, whether I am playing or not.

    “The old cliché maybe, but we are a good bunch of mates and whoever is doing well for the team, as long as they put their best foot forward then it doesn’t really matter who is out there.”

    In truth, the damage was done by the bowlers in knocking over Sri Lanka for the lowest ever ODI score on this ground.

    Matt Henry and Lockie Ferguson were the main contributors with three wickets apiece, but every bowler who chanced his arm claimed a scalp in the victory.

    But with Bangladesh up next for the Black Caps – Munro was most impressed by his side’s display in the field.

    “It started with the toss, it was a good one to win, and then we bowled well from the start, we put the ball in the right areas,” he added.

    “And we fielded well, we took some good catches. I think the way we fielded was probably the most pleasing thing as a group.

    “Sometimes you can just coast through in those games when you are getting wickets throughout. But we stayed positive, we stayed hungry.

    “I thought par score was probably 240 or 250, but I don’t think we would have had to go too hard to get there."



  17. #17
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    Daniel Vettori: New Zealand should be very proud of convincing first win

    People will say you can’t read too much into one early victory but New Zealand have every right to be exceptionally proud of their win over Sri Lanka.

    People will say you can’t read too much into one early victory but New Zealand have every right to be exceptionally proud of their win over Sri Lanka.

    It’s the perfect start in so many ways, not just with performance and result, but the margin of victory, too.

    You always talk late in the group about net run rate being important but with savvy teams, a game like this early on can make things so much easier.

    The New Zealand team is always grounded and that’s a lot to do with Kane Williamson’s ethos and the way of thinking that he instils into the team.

    But they should be proud of a game that ticked every box – the back-ups performed well and they did it comfortably, so confidence should be high.

    Sri Lanka have been struggling and the last thing they would have wanted was Matt Henry bowling like that up top, he was perfect first up for New Zealand.

    He had a tough warm-up game so to come back like that is very impressive, he would have had some nerves going into it, but he knows how well he can perform in those conditions.

    Three wickets early on is a great settler, for him and the team, and it allowed New Zealand to go forward with their normal game plan.

    Matt’s been around for a while, he’s experienced enough to know that warm-up matches can be moved on from very quickly and he’d have taken a lot of confidence from seeing the surface.

    We’ve come to expect a strong performance from New Zealand as a team, that bowling attack has really learnt and developed their roles and it’s paying off.

    With the bat, Colin Munro probably wouldn’t have played this game had Henry Nicholls been fit but for him to come in and perform, that’s a big boost for him. We know what a quality player he is and his ability in t20 cricket, and he’s translating that into the one-day format.

    There’s a real confidence in that top four and rightly so, they’ve been there and been successful for a long time and they’re able to produce match-winning innings.

    They’re the guys who will take New Zealand where they go in this tournament, if they can perform and be big match-winners, that’s something that holds them in good stead.

    It’s Bangladesh next up at The Oval and conditions will play a big part in that game, it should be a pretty good wicket and New Zealand lost to them a couple of years ago in the Champions Trophy so it will be a test.

    It will be a more free-scoring game with the Oval wicket but for New Zealand, having a win under their belt will give them a massive amount of confidence.

    Away from New Zealand, everyone is talking about that Ben Stokes catch and rightly so.

    But I agree with Moeen Ali and Eoin Morgan – if he was stood on the boundary, he’d have caught it easily!

    It was an amazing catch, and they’re happening more and more regularly in the game now with so many amazing fielders.

    Stokes is such a talent – a lot of guys are in this competition so I reckon we can look out for a lot more efforts like that.



  18. #18
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    Fast bowling influence pleasing for Lockie Ferguson after New Zealand’s opening win

    Fast bowlers have had a huge say on the opening games of this ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup – and Lockie Ferguson admits he has been paying close attention.

    Fast bowlers have had a huge say on the opening games of this ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup – and Lockie Ferguson admits he has been paying close attention.

    And clearly it is paying off for the 27-year-old New Zealander after his red-hot barrage proved too much for Sri Lanka to handle in Cardiff in their tournament opener.

    After Jofra Archer’s fireworks for England on the opening day, it was the West Indies skittling Pakistan on Friday with a short-pitched plan that paid serious dividends.

    Ferguson was the next to profit, bowling at speeds in excess of 90mph and clocked as one of the fastest in the tournament so far, as he dug the ball into the Cardiff Wales Stadium pitch to good effect.

    Ferguson finished with figures of 3/22, and the seamer is pleased to see bowlers having their say in a World Cup where bat was expected to dominate.

    “I will be honest, it is nice to follow the fast bowlers around the world,” he said.

    “It is an exciting part of the game, just like leg spin bowlers who can turn it both ways. It is an x-factor part of the game.

    “Of course it is nice to see other fast bowlers bowling quick, and there is a bit of rivalry during parts but it is not like I am watching every ball and comparing myself.

    “I think there are going to be some games where there are big runs scored, and there are also going to be some games where bowlers have a bit of dominance which is great too. It keeps the competition level headed, especially for us bowlers. We always enjoy that.”

    Ferguson is a key cog in a battery of Kiwi seamers the envy of most sides in world cricket.

    With Tim Southee missing through injury, it was Matt Henry and Trent Boult who impressed with the new balls while Jimmy Neesham and Colin de Grandhomme also took wickets in the win.

    And Ferguson is quick to point out that pace is not always everything as the Black Caps plot their path through the ten-team group stage.

    “It is one of those things that we don’t tend to put too much focus on,” he added.

    “Sometimes you play and the quicker you bowl the quicker it goes to the rope. I guess it is part of my arsenal.

    "I’m not a big swing bowler like our opening pair but it is definitely an area where I can get wickets and create opportunities through the middle which is notoriously hard part to get wickets.

    “I bowl quick, it is not always as accurate as I would like, but I think a lot of bowlers would say the same thing.

    “It is important to get wickets up front. It always makes my job easier when I am bowling to a middle order who probably don’t have the opportunity to come hard at me and it creates some more opportunities like that.

    “It is always nice to follow a swing bowling pair, whether it be Trent and Matt or Tim Southee in other games too."



  19. #19
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    Certainly very balanced team. Defending finalist means nothing though since it was at home. These batting paradise, currently gives WI an edge with Gayle-Russ. But NZ have their own firepower of Guptil, Monroe, Taylor, Williamson. But with, Latham would give them a fav tag over WI.


    Forgive when you are on top. Don't you want to be forgiven?

  20. #20
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    If recent meetings are anything to go by, New Zealand should head into their clash with Bangladesh brimming with confidence.

    The Black Caps, who opened their ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup account with a ten-wicket victory over Sri Lanka, recently whitewashed Bangladesh 3-0 in a series in New Zealand.

    However, wicket-keeper Tom Latham insists that this Bangladesh side, fresh from an opening win against South Africa, are a very different beast because of the return of Shakib Al Hasan.

    The all-rounder was absent in New Zealand but scored a magnificent century on his way to being named player of the match when Bangladesh beat the Black Caps on their last meeting on English soil at the 2017 Champions Trophy, qualifying for the semi-finals at the expense of their opponents.

    That day it was with the bat that Shakib made the difference, however his bowling may be just as crucial at The Oval, and New Zealand have turned to left-arm bowler Ajaz Patel in the nets to get used to the left-arm spin they will face.

    Latham explained: “It’s always valuable when you have a like for like bowling to in the nets. We know what sort of bowler Shakib is.

    “He’s had a lot of success around the world for a long period of time, and he wasn’t in New Zealand in our last home summer series.

    “So I think it’s important that we get used to a left-arm spinner, and we are certainly looking forward to the challenge of facing him.

    “We’ve played Bangladesh a lot over the last couple seasons, we sort of know how they go about things, and recent tournaments, they have obviously played really well in the Champions Trophy a few years ago, then obviously their game here a few days ago.

    “So we know what threats they have on their side but hopefully we can stick to the things that we do well and keep going on the momentum that we built up a few days ago.”

    With Tim Southee and Henry Nicholls still unavailable, New Zealand will name an unchanged team for the day/night game at The Oval.

    That means the trio of Lockie Ferguson, Matt Henry and Trent Boult will again lead the attack, having caused Sri Lanka so many problems.

    And Latham has backed them to perform again as New Zealand look to make it two wins from two.

    He added: “Obviously I think the way we played in the last game bodes a lot of confidence for the group.

    “I think the way the bowlers went about things they challenged the guys, or challenged Sri Lanka much from ball one, and I’m sure the same side is looking to hopefully repeat that.

    “I think Bangladesh are a quality side who can adapt to conditions really well. I think for our bowling attack, we are used to bowling on our surfaces that do offer a little bit in terms of if there is a little bit more grass.

    “So hopefully we can apply that pressure that we are used to, and I’m sure Bangladesh will be coming up with plans to counterattack our seam attack, and I’m sure it’s going to bode for a good contest.”


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  21. #21
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    Far too many articles in one thread.


    Politics trumps intelligence (pun intended).

  22. #22
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    NZ are always the nearly boys. They will do well until coming up against us or Australia. Someone always hammers them in the most crucial match thereby eliminating them from the tournament. On their day are as good as anyone. They must be taken as a serious threat.


    PP's own self proclaimed sharpshooter and defender of Islam and Pakistan.

  23. #23
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    Ross Taylor thanks his lucky stars after narrow New Zealand win

    Cricket is a game of inches and Ross Taylor knows better than most just how close New Zealand were to letting their second game slip away.

    Kane Williamson, Taylor himself and Jimmy Neesham all endured nervy moments as the Black Caps edged to a two-wicket victory over Bangladesh in their second game of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup at The Oval.

    However, all three survived run out scares, and Taylor admitted his team needed a little luck in an entertaining encounter.

    He said: “Obviously we were very lucky with the first one with Kane and then I think I was in by one centimetre and I think Jim was in by half a centimetre.

    “You know, we talk about innings and that, and it's part and parcel of cricket.

    “I always do love batting with Kane, and he's great to be batting with, but we had a bit of luck.

    “We were put under pressure, and we came out with the right result and I think that bodes well for the tournament.

    “It’s not going to be the last time we’ll be put under pressure in this tournament, and it's nice we got out on the other end with the win, and I'm sure that will bode well when we are put under pressure when we're batting first or batting second.”

    It was a landmark game for Taylor, who celebrated his 400th international appearance with a match-winning 82.

    And he admitted that it felt more like a game being played away from home than on neutral territory given the huge Bangladeshi support in the crowd.

    He said: “Bangladesh fought all the way to the end and I think the way the crowd got into it, I thought at times while we were out there, I thought I was in Dhaka or Chittagong.

    “It was amazing to be a part of and I thought just fantastic for the tournament to have such a close game.

    “We know what we're going to expect when we go to Dhaka, there are going to be great crowds and great support. But I thought it was fantastic. I thought the way they got behind both teams, that's what World Cups are all about.

    “Quite often when you do play a neutral game, there can be a little lull on the crowd, and there were a lot of Kiwis out there that were giving us a lot of support.

    “It all bodes well for a good World Cup, and just the game in general. It was played in the right spirit, and you know, it all bodes well for a good tournament.”


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  24. #24
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    Santner desperate to replicate 2015 class and inspire New Zealand to World Cup final

    New Zealand spinner Mitchell Santner wants to take inspiration from the Black Caps’ charge to the final of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup final four years ago.

    Santner hit the winning runs as New Zealand sneaked past Bangladesh at The Oval by two wickets to make it two wins out of two, finishing on 17 not out from 12 balls.

    He also put in a vital performance with the ball, taking one for 41 from his ten overs.

    The left-arm spinner, who missed most of 2018 with a serious knee injury, was playing domestic cricket four years ago when the Black Caps lost their first World Cup final to co-hosts Australia.

    Santner, 27, said: “You want to perform on the biggest stage and there’s none bigger than the World Cup.

    “I watched a lot of World Cups when I was growing up and watching the whole of New Zealand get around the lads in 2015 was awesome. If we can replicate that and maybe go one further this time, that would be nice.”

    Santner made his ODI debut at Edgbaston in 2015 in the now famous game when England passed 400 for the first time and kick-started their white-ball revolution.

    Santner was modest about his performance with the bat against Bangladesh, joking that hitting the winning runs “could have been worse”.

    He added: “It was nice to get the boys over the line. It got a bit tighter than we would have liked but we’ll take the win and move on to the next game.”

    With the ball, he had been hit for a solitary boundary until his final delivery – which he described as a “moon ball’ – disappeared over the ropes for six.

    He helped build up pressure on the Bangladesh batsmen which led to the run out of Mushfiqur Rahim after a dangerous half-century partnership with captain Shakib Al Hasan.

    Santner said: “The wicket was probably a bit slower than we thought it would be so my role throughout the middle there was to change my pace and bowl good areas.

    “As a spinner, if you’re tying down a subcontinental teams you must be doing a pretty good job. Shakib and Mushy were going pretty well for a while.”

    Santner is expecting spin to play a significant part in the tournament as it progressed.

    He added: “We’ve already seen that if it doesn’t swing early and there are some used wickets, spinners have done a pretty good job.

    “It’s going to key to bowl teams out high-scoring games in on the flat surfaces that you expect here.

    “You have to weigh up whether that’s the bowler at the other end is doing a good job and your role is to dot it up or to try and take wickets.”


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  25. #25
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    Matt Henry happy for New Zealand to be pushed all the way by Bangladesh

    New Zealand might not have been as clinical as they would have liked but fast bowler Matt Henry welcomed the pressure they were put under by Bangladesh.

    Following a comprehensive win over Sri Lanka in their ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019 opener, the Black Caps were pushed a great deal harder at the Oval by Bangladesh before emerging with a two-wicket victory.

    Henry took four wickets to add to three against Sri Lanka, and is the top wicket-taker at this early stage of the tournament.

    However, despite restricting Bangladesh to 244, New Zealand endured some nervy moments in their chase and Henry believes that will serve them well going forward.

    He said: “It was great to be put under that pressure and come out of the other side of it with the win. You want to win games of cricket and we got the job done.

    “It’s not ideal losing as many wickets as we did but they are allowed to bowl well. At the end of the day, we got the chase done.

    “They are a very dangerous side when they get a sniff. When they get a couple of wickets they can really put the squeeze on and I thought they did that really well.

    “They identified that they could dry up runs and put the pressure on and they did that well but thankfully we managed to put the partnerships we needed to get across the line.”

    Having seen off Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, New Zealand will now turn their attentions to Afghanistan at Taunton on Saturday in another day/night clash.

    Like Bangladesh, Afghanistan’s spinners have played an important role so far and Henry admitted the Black Caps would have to adjust to the conditions in Somerset.

    He added: “First and foremost we had to try to get the win here and then we have a new challenge coming up against Afghanistan in different conditions. We’ll have to adapt and bring our A game to put our best foot forward to get another win.

    “We’ll soon find out once we get down there (if it will be a trial by spin). We’ll go down and assess the conditions but Afghanistan have shown they are a dangerous side so we will be going down there with the utmost respect trying to get that win.”


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  26. #26
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    New Zealand were sent into a spin by Bangladesh last time out but coach Gary Stead isn’t concerned about how his side will cope with another slow-bowling onslaught from Afghanistan.

    Every member of the Black Caps’ top six perished to a spinner against Bangladesh, as what looked like a relatively sedate chase of 244 turned into a late-night thriller at the Oval, before Stead’s men eventually edged to a two-wicket victory.

    New Zealand faced 27 overs of spin in that game and can expect a similar amount from Afghanistan in Taunton – with the Asian side boasting the likes of right-arm off-spinners Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Mohammad Nabi, as well as ‘mystery’ leggie Rashid Khan, in their bowling attack.

    But Stead isn’t worried about any sort of Achilles heel having been exposed as his team aim to make it three wins from three in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019.

    “Afghanistan are definitely a force and spin is one of their strength areas,” admitted Stead. “But it’s not worth putting too much focus on our top six all getting out to spinners because almost 30 overs of the 47 were spin anyway.

    “We expect that against some of the Asian sides in particular. We have played spin well in the past and maybe the pressure of moment the other night made for some poor decisions.

    “We’ve certainly done homework on Rashid, Mujeeb and Nabi – the likes of those guys who will definitely be a force for Afghanistan.

    “We’re also expecting a wicket with good pace in it at Taunton. It does spin for four-day games here but for the World Cup it’s well-grassed, so should have some good pace.”

    New Zealand fell from 160/2 to 218/7 against Bangladesh before recovering to knock off the remaining 27 runs for the loss of just one more wicket.

    That collapse prompted questions about the Black Caps’ middle order behind their star-studded top four but Stead is convinced they have the personnel to thrive.

    “I don’t worry about it,” he added. “If Tom Latham [number five] had got 30 or 40 not out, as he has done many times in the past, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

    “We think the balance we have in our team provides some solidarity with the three-four-five of [Kane] Williamson, [Ross] Taylor and [Tom] Latham.

    “Then we have a little bit of power coming in after that with the likes of [Jimmy] Neesham, [Colin] de Grandhomme and [Mitchell] Santner, who can provide the icing to the cake.

    “If we’re honest with ourselves, from the position we were in we should’ve been walking off against Bangladesh with a six-wicket win but strange things can happen in cricket.

    “I’m just thankful we were on the right side of it and got the two points.”



  27. #27
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    Kane Williamson refused to take any credit for Jimmy Neesham’s career-best bowling performance but admits the all-rounder was the key to New Zealand’s comfortable victory over Afghanistan.

    The Afghans had started well in Taunton, moving to 66 for no loss, when batting first before Neesham broke the opening partnership and then removed four other members of the top seven to skittle the Asian side for 172.

    His five for 31 was his first five-for at international level and his best figures in any game of professional cricket – something that was all the more remarkable considering he’d gone at seven-an-over and 12-an-over in the first two games of this World Cup.

    The Black Caps batsmen chased down the modest total with ease to notch a seven-wicket win and after using Neesham as a first-change bowler alongside Lockie Ferguson, who took four for 37, Williamson claims the Taunton deck was tailor-made for the all-rounder’s bowling style.

    “I wish I could claim some of the credit,” smiled the Black Caps skipper. “Jimmy bowled beautifully. It was a different surface that perhaps suited him a little bit more – someone who runs in and hit the wicket hard.

    “We saw that the guys from both sides who did that got a bit of bounce and movement out of it.

    “He bowled some beautiful deliveries and broke a crucial partnership at the top. He deserves all credit he’ll get for a five-for, which is outstanding.

    “We know how talented Afghanistan are and I know it first-hand from guys I’ve played with. They’re very savvy, very cagey in how they operate and so it was a really good performance from us.

    “Those two guys [Ferguson and Neesham] have been crucial in very different roles for us. We’ve seen examples of both thriving in last three games.

    “When Jimmy is bowling well, he can get good pace out of the surface. They complement each other along with the other bowlers in the attack.”

    Against Bangladesh last time out, New Zealand were cruising in their chase of 245 but a middle-order collapse ensured some late-night drama before a nervy two-wicket triumph.

    Losing Martin Guptill to the first ball of the innings against Afghanistan could have sparked similar events but Williamson’s unbeaten 79 and Ross Taylor’s 48 paced a much more comfortable seven-wicket victory.

    That’s now three successful chases in three ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019 games and the skipper is confident the Black Caps are heading in the right direction.

    “The nature of having chased three times means that it’s been a little bit different each time and we’ve had to adapt to chase the total down clinically each time,” added Williamson.

    “This game was an improvement on the last game, which is main thing. Every day you turn up, you have different opposition at a different ground – it’s about adapting to what is in front of you.

    “It was nice to build a couple of partnerships – that’s important when you’re chasing. With the three mid-level totals we’ve been chasing, you want to get a bit of stability going into later overs.

    “It’s nice to have early wins but it’s about doing the job at hand. The team have put in some strong performances but it’s important to move on and get ready for next challenge.”


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  28. #28
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    Latham credits bowlers in Afghanistan win


    New Zealand wicket-keeper Tom Latham paid tribute to the pace and accuracy of his team’s first change fast bowlers after gratefully accepting five catches in a seven-wicket victory over Afghanistan at Taunton.

    All-rounder Jimmy Neesham recorded his first five-wicket haul in ODIs while Lockie Ferguson again demonstrated that he brings an extra dimension to the New Zealand attack with his searing speed and hostile bounce.

    The win takes New Zealand to three victories in as many games at the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019, much to Latham’s delight.

    “I think it was a quality performance all round,” Latham said.

    “The way we went about things with the ball. We were put under a little bit of pressure early on but the most positive thing was the way we responded and the way Jimmy came in and bowled, the way Lockie came in and bowled, all the bowlers to be fair. The way we responded to the pressure we were put under was outstanding and to restrict them to 170-odd was very pleasing.

    “Lockie is certainly bowling pretty quick at the moment which is nice for our side. It’s nice being behind the stumps, standing a wee way back and the ball fizzing through. He’s obviously a vital member of our group and the way we go about things through the middle. He’s been doing a fantastic job and it’s nice to see him getting some wickets today.

    “He bowled pretty quickly today, I think the wicket did help which is nice. But I think the way he is able to adapt to each surface is really good and I think the way he has bowled in this World Cup so far has been great and hopefully he can got from strength to strength for the rest of the tournament.

    “Jimmy was outstanding. He hasn’t bowled 10 overs for a while so I guess the way he came in and bowled, the way he bashed a hard length and got some pace out of the wicket was really good. And for him to get the figures at the end of the day and get those wickets in the middle was certainly confidence boosting, not only for himself but for our group.”

    Afghanistan had made a strong start, with an opening stand of 66 before Neesham ripped through the top and middle order.
    And Latham felt the ability to keep taking wickets at regular intervals was key, particularly at a venue like Taunton.

    He added: “I think it just stops the momentum in terms of the batting side and on grounds which are a little bit smaller, 300 probably is par but when you are taking those wickets it obviously makes it hard to get those scores.

    “So it’s important for us that we keep trying to find ways to take wickets through the middle and we’ve been doing that in the last couple of games so hopefully we can that in the next few games as well.”

    Latham, who has returned to the side after suffering a fractured fingers, also praised the fielding.

    He added: “It’s nice when the guys are taking catches and guys are stopping those one-handed saves, it boosts the morale of the fielding unit. It is something we do pride ourselves on and I guess keep challenging ourselves on as well.”


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  29. #29
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    Daniel Vettori: New Zealand are on a roll but India clash is a major test

    Three wins from three is a major confidence boost for New Zealand – but the next game against India is simply massive.

    To be able to go into that one with six points is a big boost and while the wins were probably expected, they can still be really satisfied with getting over the line and setting up a really great game.

    You know that matches against India are going to have a great atmosphere and be a real pressure situation.

    India are perhaps the best team in the world and it’s exciting to play in front of a big-match crowd that is so into the game and so passionate about cricket.

    Lots of the guys will have experienced that in the sub-continent but to have that in England is going to be something that’s new to them and something they need to get used to as the tournament goes on, particularly if they want to reach those semi-finals.

    Because they’ve performed so well for a long time, New Zealand won’t be defined by the result or performance in this game, win or lose.

    They’ll back themselves to be consistent throughout the tournament so irrespective of how individual games or moments go, they’ll back themselves to be able to deliver in the next game as well.

    It’s a World Cup, if you put yourself under pressure then you make things difficult, but now with three wins they’ve been able to afford themselves some luxuries.

    The win against Afghanistan last time was once again impressive, everybody played their part in a positive performance.

    But the real stand-out came from Jimmy Neesham and Lockie Ferguson, nine wickets between them is a really impressive performance, and Neesham’s figures in particular were amazing.

    If everyone’s honest, they probably see Jimmy’s role as to fill in a few overs here and there, keep things tight and to pick up the odd wicket here or there if he can.

    But if he can become a match-winner like he has in this game, New Zealand will take that every day of the week.

    The fact that he got five wickets didn’t surprise me, despite his record – it was the fact he got five of the Afghanistan top seven.

    He had the opportunity to bowl early and for him to go on and be regular wicket-taker through that innings, it’s not something Kane Williamson would have expected but it’s a big boost for him to have that.

    You can see New Zealand want to go with two all-rounders and they really back their batting, so these types of performances just give them another option for how they play their game.

    It takes pressure off the other bowlers – not all of them can and will perform on any given day so to have those options and for different people to be threatening could be really significant.

    It was interesting to see that Mitch Santner didn’t bowl, particularly with how he went in the win over Bangladesh.

    As a spinner you always want to bowl when you’re in form so he may have been a little disappointed, but it’s credit to the pace bowlers that he wasn’t needed this time around.


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  30. #30
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    New Zealand - Best positioned to reach the final four right now !

    They've had 3 easy fixtures so far against minnow level opposition and achieved an easy 6 points with the weather potentially getting worse moving forward! if you are the black caps you're not going to lose sleep over a game being rained off against the likes of England, India, Australia or Pakistan !

    The black caps always punch above their weight in tournaments and I wouldn't be shocked if they reach the final.

    Third time lucky perhaps ? it should have been them in 1992, maybe it could have in 2015? will 2019 be the year where they are blessed with the crown jewel of cricket!


    Ah, so this is what it feels like

  31. #31
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    So lucky.
    3 easy games out of the way and they'll wish that their hard games get washed out. They'll easily reach the semis.

  32. #32
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    Totally agreed. It's unfair that their stronger games are more likely to washout.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by adil79 View Post
    Totally agreed. It's unfair that their stronger games are more likely to washout.
    History has not been too kind to the Kiwis nor has luck, perhaps they are due a good bit of fortune after so much misfortune


    Ah, so this is what it feels like

  34. #34
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    It would be great for NZ to win the cup and it's very much on for them to reach semis now. They reached the final last time and could have won it but many things didn't go their way. McCullum blowing it early against Starc was a big dent too.

    The way the NZ government and people showed great courage and dignity after the mosque shooting, their people deserve every happiness.


    Lions don't lose sleep over the opinions of Sheep

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingKhanWC View Post
    It would be great for NZ to win the cup and it's very much on for them to reach semis now. They reached the final last time and could have won it but many things didn't go their way. McCullum blowing it early against Starc was a big dent too.

    The way the NZ government and people showed great courage and dignity after the mosque shooting, their people deserve every happiness.
    And we don't? People in Pakistan have sacrificed more and suffered more. Even in NZ, people of Pakistan & Muslims suffered there. If we go by deserving, i think Pakistan deserves more World Cups than any other team.

    But that's not what it is. Is it?

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by adil79 View Post
    And we don't? People in Pakistan have sacrificed more and suffered more. Even in NZ, people of Pakistan & Muslims suffered there. If we go by deserving, i think Pakistan deserves more World Cups than any other team.

    But that's not what it is. Is it?
    Of course I want Pakistan to win, always do. Im saying if Pakistan doesnt then I would like NZ to win because I have a soft spot for the country now. Im planning on visiting NZ in the near future, such a beautiful nation with amazing people.


    Lions don't lose sleep over the opinions of Sheep

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingKhanWC View Post
    It would be great for NZ to win the cup and it's very much on for them to reach semis now. They reached the final last time and could have won it but many things didn't go their way. McCullum blowing it early against Starc was a big dent too.

    The way the NZ government and people showed great courage and dignity after the mosque shooting, their people deserve every happiness.
    Interesting angle to support NZ!!!! very quietly they are winning their games. I would like them to Win the cup if not pakistan.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Plumb View Post
    Interesting angle to support NZ!!!! very quietly they are winning their games. I would like them to Win the cup if not pakistan.
    Very excited for the Pak v NZ match at Edgbaston which I will be attending. This will be the biggest Pakistani crowd if the tournament. Hopefully also the best match.


    Lions don't lose sleep over the opinions of Sheep

  39. #39
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    Variety is the spice of life and Ross Taylor says New Zealand have the diverse batting combinations to go deep in the World Cup.

    Left-hand, right-hand batting combinations can be vital in the one-day game, with Australia coach Ricky Ponting this week revealing southpaw Usman Khawaja’s key role in balancing their order.

    The Black Caps open up with right-hander Martin Guptill and left-hander Colin Munro, with Kane Williamson and Taylor complemented by lefties in Tom Latham and Jimmy Neesham lower down.

    India, who face Taylor’s side tomorrow, have seen the left-hand, right-hand opening partnership between Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma, that has yielded 16 ODI tons, broken up by injury.

    “Shikhar and Rohit have got a very good partnership, and they complement each other well because they're right and left handed,” said Taylor.

    “Shikhar is a big loss to India. He has a great presence, he plays very well at ICC tournaments and has a very good record in England.

    “In terms of our line-up, we've had a similar, balanced side for a long time and when you do have a left-hand, right-hand combination it puts pressure on the bowling side in different ways.

    “At a lot of these grounds they have a short boundary to one side, and if you have two right-handers you can't exploit it as much, whereas when you have right or left you can take advantage.”

    Taylor is ranked third in the ICC ODI batting rankings, with only India’s Virat Kohli and Sharma placing higher.

    The ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019’s group phase has been highly competitive with eight nations already recording wins and nine getting points on the board.

    Taylor's Black Caps top the tree with three wins from three, but the 35-year-old still sees a host of rivals very much in contention to lift cricket's greatest prize at Lord's on 14 July.

    "I think it's early on but realistically, seven teams are still in the hunt," said Taylor.

    "If you get onto a roll towards the end of the group stage, you can get into that crucial semi-final.

    "Then whether you're top seed or fourth seed, you're only two wins away from lifting that cup.

    "I think I could mention five or six teams who are playing well.

    "But at the end of the day, we're three from three, very happy with where we're placed while knowing we've got some big challenges ahead."


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  40. #40
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    The easiest fixtures, followed by possible washout against India.


  41. #41
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    18 June - Birmingham - New Zealand player Trent Boult pre-match press conference


    Q. Greetings, Trent. How much assistance are you expecting out of that wicket out there?
    TRENT BOULT: Not really too sure, to be honest. It looks pretty light. Obviously, there's been a lot of weather around, but it's just going to be one of those things that we, I suppose, adjust to as it comes. Looking forward to getting out there. We've obviously had a few quiet days. We can't wait to get started tomorrow.

    Q. You've only got three wickets so far in this tournament. Is it the start to this tournament that you were hoping for? What would you put that down to?
    TRENT BOULT: Well, we've got 30 wickets, probably that's the only main thing I'm worried about. I think as a unit we've been going really well. With the ball, we've put the ball where we wanted, and we've put a lot of pressure on the teams that we've come against. If we can continue to do it as a unit and obviously give us some lower totals to chase, then I'll be happy.

    It's exciting being here, and hopefully there's a few more wickets to come.

    Q. Trent, which South African batsman are you looking forward to bowling to the most and why?
    TRENT BOULT: I think we've got to respect all of them, to be honest. They've got some classy players at the top of the innings. They've obviously had an interesting start to their tournament, so they'll be hungry to come out and perform. A lot of respect for their top order. Obviously led by an experienced captain as well, and they've got some dangerous hitters lower down in the order. So yeah, 100 percent we need to be on the mark with how we start. Obviously, that's my role to hopefully get some early wickets. Looking forward to getting into it.

    Q. Trent, have you had to try a few other things during this competition if the ball is not swinging? You were challenged by the umpires about running on the pitch at one stage. Does that mean you've had to change things a little bit? I've seen you working pretty hard away from the nets at times with your bowling.
    TRENT BOULT: Yeah, I suppose I'm always trying to get better, first of all, but when the ball hasn't swung, it's always been the biggest challenge to try to get wickets and try to, I suppose, apply pressure. In terms of running on the wicket, it's not really something that I'm worried about. I'm just trying to get close to the stumps and, I suppose, make the most out of the swing that is available.

    Expected to come against some pretty good wickets with the venues that we're playing on later in this tournament. So, yeah, just trying to sharpen the toolbox and make sure I've got some tricks up my sleeve.

    Q. Trent, New Zealand have knocked South Africa out of the last two World Cups. This is essentially a knockout match for them because of the start that they had. Do you think that in any way confers an advantage psychologically to you? Have you thought about it, talked about it?
    TRENT BOULT: We haven't spoken about it, no. There have always been exciting games between New Zealand and South Africa over the past World Cups and past time that we've met each other. 2015, the semifinal at Eaton Park was one of the greatest games that the Kiwis have played. It obviously got a lot of attention back home, and it was a cool one to be a part of it. We're looking forward to facing them tomorrow, and I'm sure they're eager and hungry to put in a good performance because it's a big one for them too.

    Q. On that note, almost a followup question, what do you remember from that 2015 game? Do you look back on it? Are you looking at it in preparation for this game?
    TRENT BOULT: I remember hoping like heck that I don't have to bat, but here the little gazebo down there at Eden Park, when we saw the ball soar over the fence in the last couple of balls there, it was pretty ecstatic and a pretty cool feeling. The crowd was awesome that followed that World Cup back home. I think it did a lot for cricket in New Zealand. It's awesome to still be here representing and all those people that are proud to follow the Black Caps.

    Q. South Africa, obviously, the last time we played them, they won at home, and they're sort of saying they've got the mental advantage because of that. What do you say to that? Do you think there's any truth in that?
    TRENT BOULT: Mental advantage? I'm not really too sure. It's a World Cup. It's a funny place to be, I suppose. Obviously, it's a big game for them. It's a must win in their tournament. We've been playing some good cricket, so we're not going to dive into too much of what they've been saying, but, yeah, the boring answer of going out there and just taking them on is probably where I'm leading.

    Like I said, there's been some great games played between us over the years, and I'm hoping tomorrow is going to be another one.

    Q. Trent, why do you think New Zealand has had the upper hand over South Africa at World Cups?
    TRENT BOULT: I'm not too sure. Like I said, they're big games. Whether there's a lot of pressure on them, I'm not too sure. For us, we know what works well. For me as a bowler, I'm sure I want to lead the bowling attack as best as I can. If we can do the things that we do well and we know that works well, put some early pressure on and get some wickets, then, yeah, hopefully they feel that pressure a little bit more. So, yeah, we're looking forward to it.

    Q. Trent, looking at this World Cup, the opponents in front of you tomorrow, why do you think they've done so badly so far the South Africans?
    TRENT BOULT: I'm not really too sure. I haven't followed too much of the games religiously or anything like that. They had a tough start to the tournament. Obviously, the first game is always a nerve-racking one. Not the ideal start, I'm sure, is what I'm sure their thinking is.

    They'll be hungry, and we have to expect they'll be eager to come out and perform. They're coming off a win, and they'll be excited to bring their game plan here, and it should be a good spectacle.

    Q. From the outside looking in, New Zealand has always kind of come across as the nice guys of world cricket. Maybe that perception has perhaps held you guys back. What do you think about that? Is that something that's kind of like conscious of in the dressing room?
    TRENT BOULT: No, not as such. I don't think we're going out there to aim to be the nice guys of world cricket or put on a front of any sort. I think we've just been genuine and been who we are. I think, yeah, just playing the game in good spirits really. It's just a game, in my opinion, and it's about enjoying it. That's why I fell in love with the game, and I think that's why a lot of guys and girls and kids everywhere follow the team is because we go out and have fun.

    I don't think we need to change too much in terms of hindering us or holding us back from accomplishing anything. Yeah, we're just looking forward to hopefully progressing further in this tournament, and then come the do-or-die matches, hopefully put in some good performances.

    Q. Trent, there are several connections between New Zealand and Warwickshire. Have you been able to tap into that local knowledge to get the best out of the Edgbaston conditions here?
    TRENT BOULT: Not me personally. Maybe some guys on the squad. I've only played a couple of games here, I reckon. I haven't dived into too many local secrets or anything like that. It looks like a great place to play. I remember playing Australia here in the Champions Trophy a couple of years ago, and the rain played a little bit of impact on that. Hopefully, the weather doesn't get involved tomorrow.

    Q. Of course, Jeetan Patel is the captain of Warwickshire. Have you had any conversations with him about the Edgbaston wicket?
    TRENT BOULT: I haven't personally, no.

    Q. Trent, having worked with some of the South African bowlers at the Capitals, have you been able to give any advice to the batsmen from that?
    TRENT BOULT: Yeah, I spent time with Kagiso Rabada, quality bowler. Obviously, probably anything I say is not needed. I think they respect him enough and they appreciate that he's one of the best bowlers in the world for a reason. I know we're all excited to go out and face all of their bowling attack, and I spoke a little bit about their batters being quality players. My opinion, they've got some of the best bowlers in the world as well, so it will be a good challenge.

    Q. Trent, do you feel that the New Zealand attack have been sufficiently challenged in the matches that you've played so far? You faced some weaker opposition. Would this be kind of the biggest challenge so far?
    TRENT BOULT: Yeah, I think it's definitely going to be a big challenge to see where we're at. I think we've been lucky enough to be on a couple of new surfaces that have offered a lot to our style of bowling. Of course, the challenge is always going to be, I suppose, to see what we can do on the wickets that don't offer too much, and that's what we're prepared for here. It's a quality wicket. There's been a lot of runs scored here, so it's definitely going to be a good challenge.

    Q. Thank you very much. How pleased are you that you don't have to bowl against AB de Villiers, and what do you make of the decision by South Africa to leave him out?
    TRENT BOULT: I really enjoy bowling to the likes of the ABs, Chris Gayles, the Kohlis. I'm sure every bowler does. They grow up wanting to play this game for a reason, and that's to challenge yourself against the best players in the world. In my opinion, AB is still one of those players. It would be awesome to be playing against him. I don't have too many opinions on South Africa's cricket to do what they do and who they want to play, but, yeah, it would have been great to see him here.

    Q. South Africa was seen as serious rivals before the World Cup. Now that you've got the chance to knock them out before the knockout stages, what does that feel like, and how great would that be?
    TRENT BOULT: It's not driving us in any respect. Every World Cup game, in my opinion, is a big stage, and it's a chance for us to go out there and perform and show we can bring the game and the style that we play back home in New Zealand very well to test it against quality players in foreign conditions on a big stage in front of all these fancy cameras. So we can't wait.


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  42. #42
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    New Zealand and South Africa have a rich sporting rivalry, especially at major tournaments where the Black Caps hold the upper hand. They have knocked South Africa out of the last two ICC Men’s Cricket World Cups, winning the quarterfinal in Dhaka in 2011 and the semi-final in Auckland in 2015, a match that remains one of the greatest in ODI history.

    Trent Boult remembers sitting in the dressing-room hoping he would not be needed to bat in chase of 298. He also remembers the ecstasy when Grant Elliott hit the six that sealed New Zealand’s victory and is looking forward to creating more memories when the teams meet in Birmingham on Wednesday.

    “There’s always been exciting games between New Zealand and South Africa over the past World Cups,” he said.

    “The 2015 semi-final at Eden Park was one of the greatest games the Kiwis have played. Obviously, it got a lot of attention back home and was a cool one to be a part of.

    “We’re definitely looking forward to facing them tomorrow and I’m sure they are eager and hungry to put in a big performance because it’s a big one for them as well.”

    While New Zealand are unbeaten from their four matches so far (with three wins and a washout), South Africa have only one victory to their name and cannot afford another slip-up, which Boult believes could give his team an advantage.

    He added: “If we can do things we do well and that we know that work well, put some pressure on and get some wickets, hopefully they will feel that pressure a little more.”

    New Zealand’s attack is the only one to have dismissed their opposition in each match they have played this tournament.

    And though Boult – the joint top wicket taker at the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup four years ago – has only claimed three wickets, he is pleased with the way the bowlers have worked together.

    He added: “We’ve got 30 wickets so that’s the main thing I am worried about.

    “As a unit, we’ve been going really well. We’ve put the ball where we want it and we’ve put a lot of pressure against the teams we’ve come against. If we can continue to do it as a unit and give us some lower totals to chase, then I will be happy.”

    Boult acknowledged that New Zealand’s task will get tougher at Edgbaston, where the surface may not offer as much assistance as the pitches in Cardiff, London and Taunton.

    “It’s definitely going to be a good challenge to see where we are at,” he added.

    “We’ve been lucky enough to be on a couple of newer surfaces that have offered a lot to our style of bowling.

    “The challenge is going to be to see what we can do on wickets that don’t offer too much.

    “That’s what we are prepared for here. It’s a quality wicket, there’s been a lot of runs scored here, so it's going to be a good challenge.

    “They’ve got some classy players at the top of their innings We have a lot of respect for their top order, they’re led by an experienced captain and they’ve got some dangerous hitters lower down the order. We’re looking forward to getting into it.”


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