New Zealand were buoyant going into their previous fixture. Unbeaten in the tournament, enjoying conditions on their home patch, they would have felt a semi-final berth to be just within their reach. But there they met Afghanistan, and the story of the competition so far. An astonishing match at the Hagley Oval saw the hosts overturned by 202 runs as the Afghans stormed into the last four.
For South Africa, who have struggled with the bat throughout the tournament, they will still be smarting from their tight defeat to Pakistan last time out. That three-wicket loss had been preceded by a 71-run defeat in the group stages against New Zealand, leaving their tournament record standing at two wins and two defeats. Based on what happened when they met before, the home team goes into this match with the upper hand.
Players to watch
Hermann Rolfes (South Africa)
An immensely talented all-rounder who has flickered in this tournament, making a brilliant hundred in the corresponding fixture between these two teams, and taking 4/33 with his seamers against West Indies. He missed out against Pakistan though, and will be desperate, as South Africa’s glamour player at No.4, to finish the tournament on a high.
Rachin Ravindra (New Zealand)
Until he was run out for a duck against Afghanistan in his last match, Ravindra had been the form batsman in this New Zealand team. A classy 117 against Kenya in their second match was followed by 76 against South Africa, the languid left-handed opener unfurling all the strokes in his 89-ball stay.
Head to head
In six previous meetings South Africa have won five of them, dating back to the tournament hosted in their home country in 1998. The closest contest came in 2002, when South Africa, led by Hashim Amla, beat Ross Taylor’s New Zealanders by 24 runs. The most recent tussle, however, went New Zealand’s way.
There will be partial cloud clover but a sunny day is expected in Christchurch, with temperatures around 25 degrees.
South Africa: Raynard van Tonder (c), Matthew Breetzke, Gerald Coetzee, Jade de Klerk, Jean du Plessis, Fraser Jones, Wandile Makwetu, Akhona Mnyaka, Andile Mokgakane, Kgaudisa Molefe, Jason Niemand, Thando Ntini, Jiveshan Pillay, Hermann Rolfes, Kenan Smith
New Zealand: Kaylum Boshier (c), Finn Allen, Jakob Bhula, Max Chu, Katene Clarke, Matthew Fisher, Luke Georgeson, Ben Lockrose, Callum McLachlan, Felix Murray, Sandeep Patel, Dale Phillips, Rachin Ravindra, Connor Sullivan, Todd Watson