Pallekele: Sep 30, 2012
Aware of the fact that one more defeat will ensure their exit from the tournament, New Zealand need nothing less than a big win against the West Indies in their make-or-break Super Eight match of the ICC World Twenty20 on Monday.
Two defeats in a row have brought New Zealand to this position, where there is not scope for error.
However, a mere win will not help the cause of the Kiwis and they will have to win with a big margin and hope that England lose their last match on Monday.
With that result, Sri Lanka will be through to the semifinals and the other three teams -- New Zealand, West Indies and England -- will be equal on two points each.
The Net-Run-Rate then will come into play and the team with better run-rate will advance along with the hosts.
West Indies have a cushion of one win under their belt and one more victory would keep them in the semifinal hunt.
A West Indies victory and England defeat on Monday will push the Caribbean side and the hosts to the semifinals.
The Kiwi batsmen have performed consistently but their bowling has been a cause of concern. Despite making some competitive scores they failed to defend those totals.
The defeat via Eliminator against Sri Lanka in the first Super Eight match came after scoring a very challenging 174 for seven.
West Indies too rely heavily on their batting and it has been a roller-coaster ride for the Caribbean side in the tournament so far. They had done exceedingly well before suffering a crushing nine-wicket defeat on Saturday.
Key for the Kiwis here would be to target the West Indies top order. It happened against Sri Lanka when the explosive Chris Gayle failed to get going and all of West Indies struggled.
Kiwi spinners will also have to play an important role if they aspire to remain alive in the competition.
Brendon McCullum and Gayle are the batsmen to watch out for and their performance will play a crucial role in the fortunes of the two teams. (PTI)
New Zealand (Probable): Rob Nicol, Martin Guptill, Brendon McCullum (wk), Ross Taylor (c), James Franklin, Kane Williamson, Nathan McCullum, Doug Bracewell, Daniel Vettori, Tim Southee, Kyle Mills.
West Indies (Probable): Johnson Charles, Chris Gayle, Marlon Samuels, Kieron Pollard, Dwayne Bravo, Darren Sammy (c), Andre Russell, Denesh Ramdin (wk), Sunil Narine, Ravi Rampaul, Fidel Edwards
Time: 15.30 local (15.30 IST)