The ICC Champions Trophy Final is now what every cricket fan from both Australia and New Zealand are waiting for. The trans-Tasman clash for the Champions Trophy is set up to be a thriller of a match and will begin on Monday in South Africa at SuperSport Park, Centurion.
Well what can I say? After an appalling Ashes series they were able to win the following one-day series against England 6-1. Since then they have had an impressive win over the West Indies in the ICC Champions Trophy Group Stage followed by a close victory over Pakistan and then another win over the struggling England side in the semi-final.
In the semi-final we didn’t really see a lot of the batting line-up for the Aussies as Shane Watson and Ricky Ponting put down a 252-run partnership to seize a comfortable 9 wicket victory. Both batsmen scored centuries. The Australian cricket team also played a decent game in the field. Although it wasn’t the best fielding side we have ever seen, they did do a good job. Siddle took 3 wickets and Lee and Watson both bagged 2.
The Aussies have been in fantastic one-day form of late and are proving that even with he changes to their international team they have what it takes. I would expect that the batting line-up continues their fantastic form again and they will definitely make things difficult for the Kiwi’s.
New Zealand has been a bit of a surprise in the 2009 Champions Trophy and now they have the final to look forward to. During the tournament they have taken an expected loss to South Africa followed by impressive wins against England and Sri Lanka. In the semi-final against Pakistan the kiwi’s certainly showed that they know how to play cricket.
There were a few stars for the New Zealand side in the semi and they will be expected to perform again. Elliot played a fantastic game with the bat and finished on 75 not out. Butler did the best with the ball for the kiwi’s taking figures of 4/44 from 10 over’s. Daniel Vettori also played well taking 3/43 (10 over’s) and knocking up 41 with the bat before being stumped.
The Kiwi’s were never expected to challenge for the Champions Trophy and have surprised many punters with some good form. If they can play well as a team in the final then they will definitely have a chance.
Unfortunately the chance that New Zealand has is only slim. Even with the loss of major players like McGrath and Hayden, Australia continues to show why they have been the best for so long. There are only two things that can happen here.
Either we see the came come down to the wire and the Aussies win with a couple of over’s to spare or the match becomes a complete white wash with the Aussies dominating from start to finish.
ICC Champions Trophy Final prediction – Australia ($1.48 at Betfair)