However, Australia were not overly convincing against Zimbabwe in their opener, some of the bowling a touch wayward.
By contrast, New Zealand swept aside Kenya by 10 wickets, and while the Aussie batsmen will offer much better resistance, the Kiwi bowlers looked to have their eye in; the unorthodox Hamish Bennet was dangerous and he is 4/1 (Ladbrokes) to take the most wickets for NZ.
Alongside him, Southee was reliable (taking 3) and Oram took a brilliant 3 wickets for 2 runs.
Ponting could be the key for the Australian innings here. While Watson is an obvious threat (11/4, Totesport to top score), it’s Ponting that can stand firm and provide a nucleus to their innings; he is 7/2 with Betfred to provide a captain’s knock.
A key issue here is events happening back in Christchurch. New Zealand have lost trainer Byran Stronach and physio Dayle Shackel who have flown home and the players have been glued to TV screens, following tragic happenings back home.
This could have one of two effects; demoralisation or unification. There is a chance the Kiwis will come out and wilt but it’s our opinion NZ will come out blazing, giving something for the fans at home to cheer about.
With a selection of big hitters including Bren McCullum (4/1, Paddy Power), Jessie Ryder (4/1, ), Ross Taylor (4/1, Skybet) and even Oram and Vettori, there are plenty of outlets for fireworks. Ryder is the pick at 4/1 with .
Follow New Zealand to victory and have a look at Coral’s 6/4 about NZ hitting the most sixes.