World Cup semi-final predictions

New Zealand, India, South Africa and Australia have all shown that they are worthy contenders to be crowned World Cup champions, but who will make it to the final for a chance to see that dream become a reality?

1st semi-final: New Zealand vs South Africa

While New Zealand may have a slight upper hand, simply because they have yet to be defeated, South Africa will definitely be hungry to get to the final and shed the 'chokers' tag which has haunted them for too long. 

However, after watching New Zealand opener Martin Guptill smash an unbeaten 237 against the West Indies in the quarter-final, there is no doubt that the Black Caps are a force to be reckoned with. 

On the other hand, South Africa absolutely manhandled Sri Lanka in their quarter-final match. With JP Duminy taking a hat-trick and opener Quinton de Kock finally regaining his touch with the bat; there is no question that the Proteas will not go down without a fight. 

New Zealand key player: Martin Guptill – After having made the second-highest score in ODI history, the Black Caps will be looking to Guptill to provide more fireworks at the top of the order. 

South Africa key player: Dale Steyn – New Zealand's batting line-up has become more and more menacing throughout the tournament, and the Proteas will be banking on Steyn to peg New Zealand back with a few early wickets. 

Prediction: New Zealand to win

 

2nd semi-final: India vs Australia

This match promises to be an absolute thriller as the defending champions will be looking to retain their crown, while the Baggy Greens will be on the hunt to win their fifth World Cup trophy. 

With most of the Indian batsmen in excellent form and their bowlers having delivered top-notch performances up till now, the men in blue will definitely fancy their chances against Australia. 

However, Australia will be determined not to disappoint their home fans after coming this far in the tournament. With all their players fit and healthy, including captain Michael Clarke and all-rounder James Faulkner, Australia will be gunning for nothing less than an emphatic victory. 

India key player: Rohit Sharma – After scoring 137 in the quarter-final against Bangladesh, India will be hoping that Sharma can deliver another mind-blowing performance to carry them into the final. 

Australia key player: Mitchell Starc – With 18 wickets under his belt at an average of 9.77, the co-hosts will be looking to Starc to rip through India's batting line-up and pave the way for Australia's seventh World Cup final appearance.  

Prediction: India to win

 

Bimal Mirwani

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