World Cup: South Africa wins toss, bats vs. New Zealand
AUCKLAND, New Zealand (AP) — South Africa captain AB de Villiers won the toss and elected to bat first in its Cricket World Cup semifinal against New Zealand in which both teams are seeking to reach the final for the first time.
Steady overnight rain dampened the outfield at Eden Park but didn’t prevent the match from starting on time and wasn’t expected to cause any disruption.
New Zealand is playing in a semifinal for the seventh time, South Africa for the second time: whichever team wins will meet the winner of Thursday’s match between Australia and India.
Fast bowler Matt Henry, who was only called into the New Zealand squad on Monday as a replacement for injured Adam Milne, has been drafted directly into the match lineup.
Vernon Philander returned to the South African XI after recovering from a hamstring injury that has allowed him to play in only three previous matches at the tournament. He displaces Kyle Abbott.
New Zealand has a 4-2 record against South Africa in World Cup matches. Captain Brendon McCullum said he also would have batted on winning the toss.
New Zealand: Martin Guptill, Brendon McCullum (captain), Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Grant Elliott, Corey Anderson, Luke Ronchi, Daniel Vettori, Matt Henry, Tim Southee, Trent Boult.
South Africa: Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock, Faf du Plessis, A.B. de Villiers (captain), Rilee Rossouw, David Miller, J.P. Duminy, Dale Steyn, Vernon Philander, Morne Morkel, Imran Tahir.
Umpires: Ian Gould, England, and Rod Tucker, Australia.
Third umpire: Nigel Long, England. Match referee: David Boon, Australia.