We're approaching the business end of the Super Eights as New Zealand and South Africa gear up for a crucial match at Grenada on Saturday. A victory for either side will virtually seal a spot in the semi-finals.
Even if New Zealand lose, they still have a good shot at qualifying for the semis because they already have eight points in the bag. However, a loss for South Africa will put them in a tricky situation and give their match against England immense importance.
South Africa hold the advantage in the overall head-to-head record, winning 27 and losing only 15 of the 46 one-day internationals against New Zealand. However, New Zealand have had the better of South Africa in recent times, winning five and losing four of their last 10 matches.
Their record against each other in World Cups is an even 2-2 but New Zealand beat South Africa the last time the two teams met during the 2006 Champions Trophy in Mumbai.
Jacques Kallis could prove to be the key for South Africa. He has scored 1270 runs against New Zealand at an average of nearly 46.
Stephen Fleming, with 1230 runs, is the only other player from either team to score more than 1000 runs in South Africa v New Zealand clashes. Apart from Fleming and, to an extent, Scott Styris the rest have struggled against South Africa.
Predictably Shaun Pollock is No 1 in the wicket-taking stakes. He has taken 47 wickets in 39 matches at 25.63 apiece and an economy of 3.87. Makhaya Ntini has 35 wickets from 22 matches at 21.57 while Kallis's 34 wickets have cost him 28.20 each at 4.88 an over.
Though Daniel Vettori has taken the most wickets for New Zealand against South Africa, his 18 scalps have cost nearly 50 each while going for 4.51 runs per over. Jacob Oram's 13 wickets have come at a healthier 23.23 apiece. New Zealand could be better off playing two spinners in this match given South Africa's susceptibility against spin and Jeetan Patel's impressive performance of 3 for 11 against them in the 2006 Champions Trophy.
Both New Zealand and South Africa have had success while chasing large totals in recent times especially against Australia. Since January 2002, South Africa have scored at 7.15 an over against New Zealand during the slog overs.
Since January 2002 New Zealand have scored at 6.26 an over against South Africa during the final overs.
Pollock has been off colour against New Zealand in recent times. Though he has been economical, he hasn't taken many wickets against them. Since January 2002 Pollock has only 13 wickets at 42.38 in 18 matches and most of the wickets have been of lower order batsmen.
Shane Bond also has an unimpressive record against South Africa whose top-order batsmen have dealt with him effectively.
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