Ed Hawkins is unsure about the much-vaunted Windies line-up and reckons the obdurate Kiwis rate a better value wager in Pallekelle tomorrow
"New Zealand bat deep and will be well-drilled."
New Zealand v West Indies
Start time: 11.00
TV: live on Sky Sports 1
Both sides need the win to keep alive their semi-final hopes and New Zealand look the more vulnerable considering they have been well-beaten each time they faced a fellow superpower.
Against England their batting let them down in the face of disciplined bowling and players like Brendon McCullum, Martim Guptill and Ross Taylor, on whom they heavily rely, did not produce enough. They were okay with the ball, however, and will expect to play smarter cricket than West Indies.
They are not living up to the hype even if a win - and defeat for England - sees them into the last four. Exposed horribly by Sri Lanka, West Indies look an all-or-nothing outfit and it is difficult to predict what we will see.
They were well set against Sri Lanka at 81 for two in the 15th over and they would have been disappointed to post 129 when losing only three more wickets. Still, it was good to see Dwayne Bravo and Marlon Samuels taking responsibility after Chris Gayle failed.
Venue and conditions
As we said in the Sri Lanka v England preview, the Pallekelle surface looks a good one despite lower-than-average scores last time round. A score of 160 or more would seem more likely if West Indies bat first.
A tricky one. Until you see the prices that is. An unconvincing West Indies look far too short at 1.715/7. All the reason you need to get against them is the sentiment expressed above - we cannot be confident which side will turn up.
New Zealand are efficient and can only be described as spectacular if Brendon McCullum comes off. They should trade shorter than the 2.3211/8 but we would be happy to let it run. They bat deep and will be well-drilled. A decent value bet.
Top New Zealand batsman
McCullum is always the jolly but he comes off once in a blue moon and we would far rather have our money with someone like Taylor, who will be around 4.507/2. He is, however, wasted at No 5. James Franklin might be worth a shout after his half-century against England. New Zealand have a habit of promoting all-rounders up the order unexpectedly.
Top West Indies batsman
Gayle will be no better than 3.002/1 and we rarely get involved at such prices. Johnson Charles, his opening partner, will be slightly inflated. Kieron Pollard, the feared hitter, is not much of a wager at around 6.005/1 because he so rarely gets longer than five overs to bat.
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