New Zealand need to be wary of complacency against West Indies
Coral are offering fantastic odds of 4/1 for co-hosts New Zealand to win their first ICC World Cup, which is highly tempting seeing as they won all six of their Pool A games, including against the likes of Australia, Sri Lanka and England.
They are odds-on favourites at 3/10, meanwhile, to knock out the West Indies (5/2) in the quarters, and thus qualifying for their seventh semi-final.
But the Black Caps will need to be wary of complacency, as it didn’t go all their way against Associate Nation Scotland, as they beat them by just three wickets.
And former Windies skipper Darren Sammy holds hope for his side, who only just qualified from Pool B after losses to Ireland, India and South Africa, as he compared the upcoming fixture to a boxing match.
“It’s a big match but I remember some guy named [Buster] Douglas beating Mike Tyson,” said Sammy, whose reference is apt given that the latter was also unbeaten before the shock loss in 1990.
“It is a case of that on Saturday [March 21st] but we always believed from the time the tournament started that the first goal was to reach the quarter-finals and after that, you’re two knockout games away from a World Cup final.
“We’ve won two [in 1975 and 1979], but it’s been a long time and New Zealand have not won any.”
It really all depends on which West Indies will turn up on the day, and if superstar Chris Gayle can recover from a back injury.
Gayle was absent from the last group game against the UAE, but his team will hope the brilliant batter will return, especially after his record-breaking knock of 215 off 147 balls against Zimbabwe. He is 3/1 to get the highest score for the Windies again.
But New Zealand’s talented bowling attack of Tim Southee, Trent Boult and evergreen spinner Daniel Vettori should be able to limit the Caribbean nation batters. They are respective 11/4, 11/4 and 7/2 chances to get the best figures for their side.
To compliment the bowlers, the Black Caps also have batsmen Brendon McCullum (11/4 to get the highest score for New Zealand), Kane Williamson (3/1) and Martin Guptill (4/1).