by – Arjun Prasad
Time: 6:30 am IST
Date: 28th Feb
Venue: Eden Park, Auckland
A battle of the hosts witnesses New Zealand taking on familiar foes Australia in their own backyard of Auckland and the contest promises to be a cracker of a game.
The result to what happens when two unstoppable forces collide will be revealed tomorrow as co hosts Australia and New Zealand square off in game 20 of the ICC Cricket World Cup. New Zealand, otherwise called ‘the team with no weaknesses has wreaked havoc on the world stage with 3 back to back dominating wins. They will look to extend their streak against a buoyant Australian side who also look solid in all departments like their Kiwi counterparts. The likes of McCullum, Vettori and Anderson have been the stand out performers so far and the Black caps will bank on their expertise to take out Australia.
It seems like a long time ago that Australia thrashed England in the opening fixture of the World Cup. The Kangaroos have been match dry for almost two weeks now after their game against Bangladesh was washed out. But they sit pretty with 3 points from 2 games and will want to catch up with their fellow hosts. Beating the Kiwis will give Australia the bragging rights to claim the top spot in Group A and hence Clarke and company will be keen to get the front foot early on. The return of the skipper will also be huge boost to Australia who will look to offload either the rusty Watson or stand in skipper Bailey to accommodate the former. All in all, it promises to be a riveting contest between two powerhouses.
X Factor – The fact that neither sides have played a match in the last week or so will make the clash pretty even. Long gaps often spell disaster for sides who are in form and the same maybe the case for the two host nations. The winner of this fixture pretty much sets the tone for the next couple of rounds as well as they are the sides tipped to be a part of the last 4 lineup.
The ICC World Cup Match will be shown live on Star Sports 1 and Star Sports HD 1, while the live-streaming will be available on Starsports.com in the sub-continent.
Those in the UK can see it live on Sky Sports 2 which has been telecasting as Sky Sports World Cup. For live streaming, they can access Sky Go.
Live Score: www.icc-cricket.com
New Zealand: Brendon McCullum (capt), Trent Boult, Grant Elliot, Tom Latham, Martin Guptill, Mitchell McClenaghan, Nathan McCullum, Kyle Mills, Adam Milne, Daniel Vettori, Kane Williamson, Corey Anderson, Tim Southee, Luke Ronchi (wk), Ross Taylor.
Australia: Michael Clarke (capt), George Bailey, Pat Cummins, Xavier Doherty, James Faulkner, Aaron Finch, Brad Haddin (wk), Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, David Warner, Shane Watson.