New Zealand wins toss, sends South Africa in to bat at Cricket World Cup

PUNE, India (AP) — New Zealand’s stand-in skipper Tom Latham won the toss and sent South Africa in to bat Wednesday in a Cricket World Cup contest between two semifinal aspirants.

Kane Williamson is still unavailable for the Black Caps because of a thumb injury, despite batting in the nets in the buildup to the game.

Ahead of the match in Pune, South Africa was in second spot in the standings on 10 points, and New Zealand was two points behind in third.

South Africa’s wins over Sri Lanka, Australia, England, Bangladesh and Pakistan offset a shocking loss to the Netherlands in Dharamsala.

New Zealand, which lost to England in the 2019 final, has a 4-2 record after winnings is first four games before losing back-to-back games against India and against Australia on Saturday by five runs.

South Africa made one change from its previous game, with paceman Kagiso Rabada recalled after recovering from a back problem and replacing wrist spinner Tabraiz Shamsi.

New Zealand also made one change with Tim Southee returning from injury to replace Lockie Ferguson, who has an Achilles’ injury.

The teams have met eight times in ODI World Cups, with New Zealand winning six games including two knockout encounters in 2011 and 2015.

The pitch at the MCA Stadium should aid batsmen. Dew in the evening will be a factor for the chasing side.

A high-scoring contest was on the cards, with both sides having a penchant for scoring big totals.



South Africa: Quinton de Kock, Temba Bavuma (captain), Rassie van der Dussen, Aiden Markram, Heinrich Klaasen, David Miller, Marco Jansen, Gerald Coetzee, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi

New Zealand: Devon Conway, Will Young, Rachin Ravindra, Daryl Mitchell, Tom Latham (captain), Glenn Phillips, James Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Matt Henry, Tim Southee, Trent Boult


AP cricket:

The Associated Press