Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 23rd 2015 Contents WELLINGTON---As the Cricket World Cup semi-
final between New Zealand and South Africa at
Eden Park approaches, talk inevitably turns to
what seems a perfect storm of scoring possibil-
ities---big hitters and short boundaries.
South Africa and New Zealand jointly boast some
of the biggest hitters in world cricket and Eden
Park has the shortest boundaries of any established
and regularly-used international cricket stadium.
The outcome seems inevitable---a contest of record-
But New Zealand all-rounder Grant Elliott---who
can view the stadium as both a batsman and
bowler---says that while the ground s straight bound-
aries are among the shortest in world cricket it
shouldn t be taken for granted that bat will always
prevail over ball.
He can point in evidence to results on the ground
in this tournament. When New Zealand played
Australia at Eden Park in one of the most-antic-
ipated matches in pool play, it bowled out the Aus-
tralians for 151, then lost nine wickets in surpassing
Swing bowlers dominated: Trent Boult took 5-
27 for New Zealand, Mitchell Starc 6-28 for Aus-
tralia, only one batsman reached 50 and there were
only 11 sixes.
When South Africa played Pakistan on the ground
in a rain-shortened match, Pakistan s 222 played
South Africa s 202 all out. The highest score on
Eden Park in this tournament has been India s win-
ing 288-4 against Zimbabwe.
"Bowlers come into it a lot more. If it s not swing-
ing on the day then you can expect anything at
Eden Park," Elliot said. "It s quite a strange ground
in the sense that it looks small and some teams get
sucked in to those small boundaries. But the totals
are not generally as high as you would expect."
The ground, designed to host rugby, is atmos-
pheric as more than 40,000 fans encircle the playing
area, pressing within metres of the boundaries.
Their cheers, reflected back into the auditorium by
cantilevered roofing, are amplified and reverberate,
becoming almost deafening on the field of play.
"Obviously the crowd... phenomenal at Eden
Park," Elliott said. "With the dimensions of the
ground, someone said it was like a jungle last time
we played there. But we ve played there against
Aussie and we ve felt that atmosphere so I think
this team is quite level and I don t think anyone
will be overawed by the occasion."
Guide to the Cricket World Cup semifinals
The Cricket World Cup began on February 14
with 14 teams. More than a month later, the tour-
nament has been reduced to four countries including
defending champion India, four-time winner Aus-
tralia and its co-host New Zealand, and South
"The best four teams are in the semifinals, and
I don t think many people could disagree with that,"
New Zealand coach Mike Hesson said yesterday.
refugee Fawad Ahmed has bro-
ken a domestic first-class
cricket finals record in Australia,
taking eight wickets for 89 runs
for Victoria state in the Sheffield
Shield final against Western
Western Australia posted 421 be-
fore being bowled out midway
through day two yesterday at Bel-
Legspinner Ahmed, a naturalised
Australian who fled Pakistan in
2009 and claimed asylum, took the
wickets of opener Marcus Harris
(81), Sam Whiteman (72), Michael
Klinger (18) and Shaun Marsh (six),
along with four tailenders who were
each dismissed in single figures.
Western Australia s Chris
Matthews 8-101 against Queens-
land in 1988 was the previous best
bowling mark in a Shield final.
• Twitter: @GuardianTT • Web: guardian.co.tt
Pakistan refugee to Australia sets domestic record
Here's a quick guide to the semifinals. The winners
advance to the final on Sunday at the Melbourne
New Zealand vs South Africa
Tomorrow: Eden Park---Auckland, New Zealand
SO FAR: Co-host New Zealand hasn't lost a match
in winning Pool A and then defeating the West Indies
by 143 runs in the quarterfinals. South Africa lost two
of its six pool matches to finish second in Pool B and
also had a comfortable win in the quarterfinals,
beating Sri Lanka by nine wickets.
THE STARS: For New Zealand, Martin Guptill has
been exceptional, scoring a World Cup-record 237 not
out in Saturday's win over the West Indies. He has
scored 498 runs in seven innings and is second only
to Sri Lanka's Kumar Sangakkara's 541 in the scoring
standings. New Zealand's Trent Boult leads all wicket-
takers with 19 while teammates Daniel Vettori and
Tim Southee have added 15 each. For South Africa,
AB de Villiers has tallied 417 runs and is always a
threat at the crease. Legspinner Imran Tahir has
taken 15 wickets for the Proteas, while Morne Morkel
has added 14.
QUOTABLE: "We've got a lot of scouting to do of a
quality South African side:" Guptill on the semifinal
"It was a big-pressure game, and we just showed
everyone that we can do it:" de Villiers after South
Africa ended its decades-long streak of never winning
a knockout match at the World Cup.
Australia vs India
Thursday: Sydney Cricket Ground
SO FAR: After a lacklustre test series and one-day
tri-series tournament in Australia in which India
couldn't manage a win, the defending champions
have been perfect at the World Cup, winning all six
preliminary matches to finish first in Pool B and then
beating Bangladesh by 109 runs in the quarterfinals.
Australia lost by one wicket to New Zealand and only
received a point for a washed-out match against
Bangladesh to finish second to the Kiwis in Pool A.
The co-hosts beat Pakistan by six wickets in the
THE STARS: India opener Shikhar Dhawan is
among the tournament leaders with 367 runs scored
while Mohammed Shami has taken 17 wickets,
placing him third among all bowlers in the
tournament so far. Australia has received
contributions from a number of batsmen in its lineup,
but none feature among the top 10 scorers, while
left-arm fast bowler Mitchell Starc is second to Boult
among leading wicket takers with 18.
QUOTABLE: "Australia's batting is encouraging for
Indian pacers. They can put pressure on the Aussie
lineup:" retired Indian batsman VVS Laxman.
"They've worked out conditions and they've spent
so much time here. I think MS Dhoni deserves a lot of
credit the way he's been able to turn things around as
the leader, as the captain. They're playing some really
good cricket, there's no doubt about it:" Australia
captain Michael Clarke on the semifinal opposition.
waves his bat as he
leaves the field
after scoring 237
not out against the
West Indies during
their Cricket World
match in Wellington,
Saturday AP PHOTO
(Ext: 2213, 2711,
"We are over-
West Indies batting
great BRIAN LARA
after the West Indies
was mauled by New
Zealand in the ICC
Eden Park no paradise
scored an unbeaten
century for T&T Red
Force against the
Leewards on the
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