After more than a month of scintillating cricket the ICC 2015 Cricket World Cup has finally reached its business end. The semi finalists have been no surprise and come tomorrow South Africa will go head to head with co-hosts New Zealand. The match promises to be a cracking one considering both the teams are in top form. The game is scheduled to be held in Eden Park and Black Caps captain Brendon McCullum has already sent out a written invite to all his countrymen, urging them to be present in the stadium and get behind the team.
Here we look at 5 battles to watch out for in the first semi final:
1. Brendon McCullum vs Dale Steyn
These two gentlemen play for different teams but have one thing in common, they play not only to defeat the opposition but to destroy them. McCullum opens the batting and Steyn opens the bowling .McCullum swings his bat and Steyn swings the bowl. McCullum attacks and Steyn attacks and in the end there can be only one winner. Undoubtedly the most mouth watering clash of the semifinals.
2. AB de villiers vs Trent Boult
It would be safe to say that Trent Boult has been New Zealand’s most potent threat as far as their bowling department is considered. The highest wicket taker of the tournament with 19 wickets, Boult faces another man who has been in scintillating form, Mr Superman aka AB Devilliers from South Africa. Boult has been next to unplayable this World Cup and the only man who looks capable of handling him is the Proteas captain. This battle has the potential to turn the match either way.
3. Martin Guptill vs Morne Morkel
The double centurion from the last match will go head to head with the pace and bounce of the tall Morne Morkel. Guptill has been in smashing form dispatching any delivery pitched up or in good length out of the stadium. The only instance when he struggled was against the pace and bounce of the Australians in the group stages. This time he will be tested with the same and the South Africans will be keen to remove the contribution of this man from the match.
4. Daniel Vettori vs Imran Tahir
The battle of the spinners will not be against one particular batsman but their contribution as a whole. Both the spinners have been on top of their game picking up 15 wickets each. The Eden Park has rather short boundaries and most spinners look at containing rather than picking wickets. The key to success for either team will be who manages to have more wickets to his name and might well determine their road to the finals.
5. “Chokers” vs “Eternal Semi Finalists”
These two titles have stuck with South Africa and New Zealand ever since. On one hand South Africa are known to have temperament that fails when it is really required, especially when it comes to big tournaments .On the other hand the Kiwis would be participating in their 7th semi finals of the World Cups. Not to forget that one of them will be first time finalists in the history of the World Cup which is reason enough for a closely contested encounter.
Let the games begin.