Hosts look to cement spot in CWC19 semi-finals
A timely-win against India at Edgbaston has England back in the World Cup race after previously stumbling against Australia and Sri Lanka. There was plenty of talk that perhaps the hosts may even struggle to qualify for the semi-finals before they beat India, now they find themselves just one win away from securing a spot in the 2019 ICC World Cup semi’s. Having said that, England aren’t guaranteed a spot in the semi’s just yet. First, they must get past a dangerous-New Zealand outfit that are coming off a rather-large defeat against Trans-Tasman rivals Australia. That washout against India could prove very-handy for the Black Caps given they got one point from it, that’s one more than England which could potentially decide the hosts fate in the tournament.
England has resurrected their World Cup campaign after a minor-scare, New Zealand on the other hand has lost their last two group stage matches and don’t look anywhere-near as damaging as they did at the start of the tournament. That can all change in the blink of an eye, but for now it’s a team who’ve dug themselves out of a form-slump up against a team currently in one. The return of Jason Roy was like a breath of fresh air for the hosts, Jonny Bairstow was finally relieved of all the added-pressure in the absence of Roy and produced a superb hundred. While Joe Root’s fanatic-pace in the runs department seems to have dropped off ever-so-slightly, all-rounder Ben Stokes has been incredible for England at the back-end of the tournament. Stokes has been the hosts backbone for three-consecutive matches with the bat in hand, scores of 82*, 89, & 79 would suggest he’s at the top of his game. Jason Roy’s 66 runs on return was a huge-positive, the injury appears to have had no impact on his confidence. It’s going to be a riveting-contest between the Pommy batsmen and Kiwi quick’s, Trent Boult and Lockie Ferguson have brought their A game in this World Cup and look highly-dangerous with the ball in hand.
The big question is, can England’s bowlers match New Zealand’s? Jofra Archer has easily been one of the best bowlers in the tournament so far alongside the likes of Mitchell Starc and Lockie Ferguson. When it comes to taking wickets, Archer is your man. The West Indian-born quick already has an incredible five three-wicket hauls in this year’s World Cup, that’s utter-dominance! If there’s one area England can expose New Zealand, it’s at the top of the order. Most of the time, it’s been left up to skipper Kane Williamson who’s averaging a whopping-113.50 to get the job done after a mini-collapse has occurred. Yep, Martin Guptill and Colin Munro have been horrendous against the new ball in the UK. That certainly explains Williamson’s gigantic-average, it’s been left up to both he and the middle-order given the lack of output the openers have contributed in the tournament. With Henry Nicholls back at the top of the order, maybe things might turn around for them. Liam Plunkett and Chris Woakes bowled superbly for England against India, another thing the Black Caps will have to be wary of.
Top 5 fantasy picks – England
- Ben Stokes
- Jofra Archer
- Joe Root
- Chris Woakes
- Jason Roy
Wildcard pick – Eoin Morgan
Top 5 fantasy picks – New Zealand
- Lockie Ferguson
- Kane Williamson
- Trent Boult
- Ross Taylor
- James Neesham
Wildcard pick – Henry Nicholls
Predicted Team XI’s
England (possible) – 1. Jason Roy 2. Jonny Bairstow 3. Joe Root 4. Eoin Morgan (c) 5. Ben Stokes 6. Jos Buttler (wk) 7. Chris Woakes 8. Liam Plunkett 9. Jofra Archer 10. Adil Rashid 11. Mark Wood.
New Zealand (possible) – 1. Martin Guptill 2. Henry Nicholls 3. Kane Williamson (c) 4. Ross Taylor 5. Tom Latham (wk) 6. James Neesham 7. Colin de Grandhomme 8. Mitchell Santner 9. Ish Sodhi/Matt Henry/Tim Southee 10. Lockie Ferguson 11. Trent Boult.
Zak Varik is an Australian columnist/writer who specializes in the sports category cricket. With over four years of experience covering all sorts of cricket tournaments around the world, Zak has gained extensive knowledge in International cricket as well as domestic.
“I’ve loved watching cricket since I was about 7 years old, my childhood hero was none other than Andrew “Roy” Symonds who probably enhanced my love of the game through the years”.
Zak is now an established writer for FCN (Fantasy Cricket News) and has also previously represented other Blogs during his time as a writer.