West Indies captain Rovman Powell believes that the Caribbean side have a strong opportunity to defeat New Zealand in their upcoming T20 World Cup 2024 Group C match at the Brian Lara Stadium in Tarouba, Trinidad. New Zealand is currently struggling, sitting at the bottom of the table with a net run rate of -4.200 after a significant 84-run loss to Afghanistan in their opening match.

In their first group match, the Black Caps were tasked with chasing 160 but were bowled out for just 75 in 15.2 overs. Apart from Glenn Phillips and Matt Henry, no New Zealand batter managed to reach double digits. Powell noted that New Zealand is under pressure, and this is an ideal moment for the West Indies to capitalize on their vulnerabilities.

The West Indies vs New Zealand match on June 13 in India will be off more significance as it could be a potential Knockout match as well. Afghanistan have won their first two matches to sit top of the table 4 points. West Indies also have 4 points and if they fail to win vs New Zealand, they take on Afghanistan in their last group stage match. Meanwhile, after this match, New Zealand faces a rather easy opponents in Papua New Guinea and Uganda, where the Blackcaps are expected to win, this could mean if West Indies don’t win, they could be looking at a potential elimination.

On the same hand, if New Zealand don’t win this, they could only reach a maximum 4 points while Afghanistan is expected to reach a minimum 6 with a match against Papua New Guinea in hand. If West Indies beat New Zealand, they will be on 6 points, that means New Zealand will be on the brink of elimination, just waiting for Afghanistan to beat Papua New Guinea.

Before the match vs NZ, West Indies captain Powell emphasized that the West Indies are concentrating on their own performance rather than New Zealand’s struggles. “Definitely, if there’s a good time to play New Zealand, I think it’s now. As you said, they’re a little bit undercooked. The pressure is really on them because this game decides whether they go on: yes or no. Having said that, we’re not focusing on New Zealand: we’re focusing on what we have to do,” Powell said during the pre-match press conference.

Powell also mentioned that the weather might influence the game’s outcome, potentially preventing a high-scoring match. “With the rain around, that can play a part in the scores. If the groundsmen don’t have sufficient time to produce good wickets, that’s also a problem with the rain around. You don’t get enough time to sun. Hopefully tomorrow is a very good day in terms of the weather,” Powell added.

The West Indies have begun their campaign with victories over Papua New Guinea and Uganda, and another win would secure their place in the playoffs. They currently hold the second spot in Group C with 4 points and a net run rate of +3.574.

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