South Africa have won 379 of the 592 completed one-day internationals the teams have contested‚ or almost two-thirds. Thing is‚ five of their losses against the Kiwis have come in the seven World Cup games they have played against each other.
And two of those defeats have been more momentous than most: the 2011 quarter-final and the 2015 semi-final.
“I remember hoping like heck that I don’t have to bat‚” Trent Boult said of that crazy night at Eden Park four years ago.
Boult has had 35 innings for ODIs‚ all but two of them at No. 11 — when he was at No. 10.
So he got his wish‚ not least because Grant Elliott completed his unbeaten 84 by smashing Dale Steyn over his head for six to win the match with four wickets standing and a ball to spare.
The teams who will take the field on Wednesday will be different‚ and the way they play cricket has also changed.
New Zealand’s top four of Martin Guptill‚ Colin Munro‚ Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor have made 451 of the 531 runs all their batters have scored. That’s 84.93%.
That South Africa have scored 853 runs — 322 more than New Zealand — and have only three log points compared to the Black Caps’ seven tells its own story about the strength of their respective opponents.