Black Caps to face Australia at Lord’s in CWC19

Lord’s will be the stage of the repeat final of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 when the Black Caps will take on world champions Australia on 29 June in their seventh league match of next year’s World Cup, the International Cricket Council confirmed on Thursday.

The two sides had played in the final of the World Cup 2015 in front of more than 90,000 spectators with Australia winning their fifth title by seven wickets. Earlier, in a group match in Auckland, New Zealand had survived Mitchell Starc’s six for 28 to carve out a nerve-wracking one-wicket victory.

This will be one of New Zealand’s four day/night fixtures in the 10-team tournament, which will be played across 11 venues in England and Wales from 30 May to 14 July on a single-league format with the top four sides progressing to the semi-finals. The Black Caps’ other three day/night fixtures will be against Bangladesh at The Oval on 5 June, against Afghanistan in Taunton on 8 June and against the Windies at Old Trafford on 22 June.

New Zealand, who have also featured in a record six World Cup semi-finals, will play their opening match against Sri Lanka in Cardiff on 1 June, while their fourth league match will be against India at Trent Bridge on 13 June. Edgbaston will host New Zealand’s matches on 19 and 26 June against South Africa and Pakistan, respectively.

However, it will be New Zealand’s match against Australia which will draw extra attention due to the historic competitiveness between the trans-Tasman rivals. On a head to head, Australia lead New Zealand 90-37 with seven no-results, including one each in the 2013 and 2017 ICC Champions Trophy in England and Wales.

However, when the event was last staged in England and Wales in 1999, New Zealand had defeated Australia by five wickets in Cardiff, before losing to Pakistan in the semi-final.

Black Caps

Trent Boult, who had won the player of the match award for his five for 27 against Australia in Auckland on 28 February 2015, and destructive left-handed batsman Colin Munro were excited about next year’s World Cup.

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The 28-year-old Boult, who has 122 wickets in 66 ODIs to date, said: “The UK is an exciting place to play cricket, with the history of the sport in the country. To go there and play at the grounds against the best players in the world is a dream come true.

“I am hoping to make as big an impact as I can. We will look to go one better than we did in 2015, and it is such a big stage and here’s hoping I get that opportunity to do well. We have a well-balanced side; it is exciting to see that as a one-day side we have been travelling really well. We have put together some good performances and it is all about taking that game plan abroad now for the World Cup.

“It is an interesting format, it is going to take a few weeks, but it is exciting to play every team and I am sure it will bring out the best in everyone. Everyone’s dream is to lift the World Cup, we were very close in 2015, just one short. If we can put on similar performances over the last few years then we are in with a very good chance.”

The 31-year-old Munro, who has scored 905 runs in 40 ODIs to date, said: “Every time you play cricket in England is special, because of the history of the game, the followers and very knowledgeable crowds.

“A lot of preparation goes into winning a World Cup, knowledge of different grounds and surfaces and make-up of the team. There is a lot of excitement for me to be involved in a one-day World Cup, as I haven’t been involved in one before. I was pretty close to the last one and missed out there. I have been working really hard to make it and I still have a lot to prove over the next year in the one-day format.”

New Zealand’s schedule of World Cup matches:

1 June – v Sri Lanka, Cardiff (d)
5 June – v Bangladesh, The Oval (d/n)
8 June – v Afghanistan, Taunton (d/n)
13 June – v India, Trent Bridge (d)
19 June – v South Africa, Edgbaston (d)
22 June – v Windies, Old Trafford (d/n)
26 June – v Pakistan, Edgbaston (d)
29 June – v Australia, Lord’s (d/n)
3 July – v England, The Riverside (d)