For the first potential ripper of a game at the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, focus your gaze on New Zealand versus South Africa at Edgbaston on Wednesday. Why, you ask?

For one, these two teams do not do dull when it comes to the World Cup. No, really, they don t.

The 2011 quarter-final in Dhaka. The 2015 semi-final at Eden Park. In 2003, during a league match, South Africa made 306 and lost to New Zealand in a Duckworth-Lewis effected match thanks to Stephen Fleming s defining ODI innings.

Then there is the matter of South Africa needing to win their remaining matches to stay alive. Backs to the walls, they are in dire need of locating their radar. South Africa languish at eighth position on the World Cup points table, with three points from five matches. One win over Afghanistan, a washout with West Indies and losses to England, Bangladesh and India.

There are tasty subplots, too. The supreme skill of Imran Tahir against a New Zealand batting lineup that against Bangladesh in a match they won by two wickets looked like it would lose its marbles. The impending return of Lungi Ngidi, who has not played a match since June 2. The question of whether South Africa will persist with Hashim Amla.

Kane Williamson s New Zealand are unbeaten in the tournament, having beaten Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan and then taking one point from the washout against India. They sit at second place on the World Cup leaderboard, with seven points. A win over South Africa will put them at the top. Like Australia, New Zealand cricket teams have the ability to up their levels at World Cups. What better team that South Africa, floundering in their campaign, to try and bury?

And then, a touch of history. The last time South Africa beat New Zealand in a World Cup match was wait for it 20 years ago. At Edgbaston, of all places.

If the rain holds off, expect a cracker on Wednesday.