World Cup 2015 – 1st Semi Final – The PreviewBackFootPunch |
Originally Posted by Spikey
It’s so hard to predict which choker will choke and once again miss the final. I think it’s anyone’s choke to choke
Tuesday March 24, 2015
Start time 2:00pm local (0100GMT, previous day)
The first semi-final in Auckland shapes as an absolute classic, for a number of reasons. Neither of these teams have been to a World Cup Final before, both are favourites of the neutral bloc, and there’s a fair bit of feeling remaining between the two teams following New Zealand’s incredible win at the quarterfinal stage four years ago. Speaking before the tournament, Faf du Plessis (who was heavily involved in the drama in India) suggested the Proteas would love to face the Kiwis in the knockouts once again so they could atone for that loss. He’s got his wish and cricket fans worldwide are preparing for what could be the match of the tournament so far.
On to the more important stuff though, and CricketWeb’s preparations for the clash are well underway. The match thread has been relatively busy since the two qualifying teams were confirmed on Saturday night (local time). The short lead-in to the match has, however, left the thread lacking the classic running battles we have come to expect in big games. Much of the chat has been around the danger posed by Amla and (the) AB, while Monday has seen the New Zealand contingent largely focused on who should replace Adam Milne following news of his heel injury. Another factor in the somewhat subdued nature of the thread so far may be the unfortunate lack of South African posters on the forum at the moment. The vocal Kiwi crew far outnumber their Saffa counterparts so the major battles may be at a minimum for this game.
Perhaps the best hope for entertainment outside of the cricket itself will be watching the nerves of the New Zealand posters if things get tight or go wrong. Being favoured by many for such a huge match is an unusual position for both the team and the posters to be in, so one wonders how long it will take for the Gambhiring to begin and the NZ Doom and Gloom thread to be dragged up. There has been no indication yet of just what lengths Bahnz is going to to ensure some kind of happiness, regardless of the result, but it’s fair to assume he’ll be a very poor man come Wednesday morning if things go the way of the Blackcaps.
Finally, there has been a noticeable lack of discussion around the length of the boundaries and the prospect of 400 being scored at Eden Park if a team gets going. Flem274* waged quite the battle against Pratters around the time of the Australia/NZ game at the same venue, and is said to be yearning to jump back on his hobby horse for one last crack.
With the New Zealand team on a winning streak that has now stretched to 7 matches over this tournament, the local posting contingent has naturally been in a positive mood. Other than the game against Australia, the group hasn’t had their quality and unity hugely tested so this match should give us a glimpse of how they hold up in the face of a do-or-die clash. It seems reasonable to assume the levels of resilience amongst the Kiwi posters should be higher than in previous years following a brilliant summer, so they now need to build on this momentum and continue to improve heading into their biggest game in many years.
For the neutrals, many of whom already have an eye on Thursday’s second semi, this serves a fascinating appetiser. As always on CW, most posters are cricket fans rather than just fanbois, so there will be keen interest in the game from all over the forum.
Noted Virat Kohli fan Jono eloquently sums up the feelings of the neutral fan on Sunday afternoon:
Quote Originally Posted by Jono
This is the most exciting match of the tournament so far. Build up for Aus vs. NZ was epic, and India vs. Pak was fun because of the rivalry, but first WC final chance for both teams. Two teams with awesome strengths. NZ home ground advantage.
In the Spotlight
A number of forumers have had exceptional World Cups up to this point but none more so than Kiwi favourite Athlai, who has led from the front with the now ubiquitous cake meme. As in previous games, other posters will look to him for guidance in their use of both cake and icing related analogies. CWers, known for their love of in-jokes, have certainly taken to this one en-masse, though it remains to be seen whether Athlai can keep things under control through to the final. As more posters have joined in on the joke, the quality of the comparisons has been somewhat diluted. Fans are hoping the less talented users of the analogy can post within their limits and leave Athlai free to play his natural game
Unsurprisingly, the match thread has been dominated by New Zealand posters. Hendrix, Phlegm and Athlai have all been prominent. _Ed_’s planned excursion to Eden Park tomorrow afternoon was initially viewed with suspicion but after confirming he is no longer a jinx his presence has been welcomed. Burgey, Zinzan and Flem made a late run at stirring up a bit of trans-Tasman angst but, at the time of publishing, everyone seemed to be behaving far too reasonably for things to get really out of hand.
Zinzan unveiling his powers of prediction on Saturday night:
Quote Originally Posted by Zinzan
Looking forward to Mills and Boult opening up at Eden Park.
Quote Originally Posted by kiwiviktor81
Guptill scored 200 in his last innings, 100 in the one before that and 50 in the one before that. Clearly, therefore, he’s going to score 400 against SA.
Quote Originally Posted by Spark
Be fairly surprised if NZ don’t win this tbh.
Quote Originally Posted by Athlai
I’m secretly a time traveller and have come back in time to establish myself as Guptills biggest fan prior to his ascension to Bradman 2.0.
It was between that and stopping Hitler. A very difficult call but I did it for the likes.
Quote Originally Posted by Flem274*
I’m relaxed about this one. Two top class sides who are great to watch. I’m gping to forget everything andjust enjoy watching my team challenge another awesome team.