ICC CRICKET WORLD CUP 2019
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Toss delayed due to wet outfield
Can South Africa beat New Zealand in an effective must-win encounter? © Getty
Umpires speak: “Whole outfield is the concern”
Gould: “We have reinspected (the ground) and it’s improving. They (groundsmen) have done well. We have another inspection at 11:00. We will see what we can do then. but its certainly improving. Basically the concern is the whole outfield. So much rain over the last week or so, hopefully we can get some cricket shortly. I think its worse here. We expected thunderstorms last night and we didn’t get them. So, the British weather is not doing us very proud at the moment.”
Llong: “Basically we have got a wet outfield. It has not stopped raining for the best of the week. The ground-staff have done well but we have got some wet patches and they are very greasy. Need the sun to come out. We are trying to give the groundsmen the best chance to get the ground ready. At this point we are trying to keep the people off. Hoping for the sun to come out.”
Slight more delay
“Ian Gould just did what looked like half a moon walk. He is doing the same at the other end of the pitch. They’re checking the areas on the bowling run-up where grass ends and pitch begins,” observes Kau. “Both Gould and Llong have just looked at their watch. We should start soon I hope because no groundsman is working on anything,” he adds. Okay we have an official word: Next inspection at 11:00 local time.
Toss delayed due to wetoutfield
But ahoy, things brightening up! No rain at the moment, and the covers have been taken off too. Yes yes, it started with the hover cover on. There’s an official inspection at 10:15am local. Until the action starts, catch Gautam Bhimani, Joy Bhattacharjya & Zaheer Khan building up to the match on Cricbuzz Live.
Time to say hello
You should start the blog by reading about South Africa’s Auckland scars from 2015. Kaushik Rangarajan talks to then coach Russell Domingo, who reveals how they wanted bowl Imran Tahir to Brendon McCullum first up but didn’t. There was rain around, so they thought seam would do the job. Didn’t. McCullum scored a half-century at a strike-rate of over 200!
That defeat piggybacked on another heart-rending semifinal defeat in the 2011 World Cup. In 2019, in a quasi must-win game, can South Africa down New Zealand? They are going to be tough to beat, that’s sure. Here’s Kaushik’s match preview, and here’s the head-to-head between the sides, nicely compiled by Hariprasad Sadanandan.