By Niall Anderson in Birmingham

Having waited for more than a week since their last Cricket World Cup clash, the Black Caps are now preparing for a pivotal period - one which could be decisive in securing New Zealand a semifinal berth.

That's the best-case scenario from what looms as a vital week for the Black Caps' semifinal chances, with games against South Africa on Wednesday and the West Indies on Sunday being potentially crucial.

Win both of those games, and the Black Caps will be sitting pretty on 11 points – generally believed to be the magic number to