Lockie Ferguson puts New Zealand in fast lane to last four with 11 World Cup wickets from their unbeaten start
- Lockie Ferguson has played a key role in New Zealand’s impressive World Cup
- The Kiwi’s have an unblemished record and face West Indies next on Saturday
- Ferguson has 11 wickets and has maintained average delivery speed of 90mph
West Indies began this World Cup with a reprise of their Fire In Babylon fast-bowling heyday — but Saturday’s opponents New Zealand are winning the pace race.
In blowing Pakistan away with the short stuff, Jason Holder’s Windies threatened to make a dash for a top-four finish, only for their policy to be derailed spectacularly against England and Bangladesh, amid fitness concerns over Andre Russell.
New Zealand, meanwhile, arrive in Manchester with an unblemished record, having uncovered fresh sources of wicket-taking potential.
Lockie Ferguson has played a key role in New Zealand’s impressive World Cup so far
While their runner-up finish in 2015 was founded on the ammunition of new-ball pair Trent Boult and Tim Southee, this time with Boult less prolific and Southee on the fringes because of injury, they have stumbled across a middle-overs combination of Lockie Ferguson and Jimmy Neesham.
Ferguson, with 11 wickets here, is the one bowler to have maintained an average delivery speed of 90mph across this four-year cycle, while the re-emergence of Neesham 18 months after he considered quitting the sport is one of the tournament’s great stories.
There will be plenty of bounce on offer at Old Trafford, where only a victory for the Windies will keep their semi-final ambitions alive. Fixtures against India, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan follow.
TV: Live on Sky Sports Mix from 1pm.
Ferguson has 11 wickets and is the one bowler to maintain average delivery speed of 90mph