Stakes high in Australia's showdown against NZ

AUSTRALIA'S Champions Trophy defence will be on the line in the trans-Tasman showdown against New Zealand at Edgbaston tonight.

After losing its opening game against England, a defeat against the in-form Kiwis could send Australia crashing out of the tournament while the Black Caps, who beat Sri Lanka in their first game, could secure a semi-final berth with victory.

Australian wicketkeeper Matthew Wade was under no illusions about how hard the game was going to be.

"New Zealand are in really good form, we understand that," Wade said.

"We all understand now that we have to win both games coming up and we are up for it."

Kiwi paceman Kyle Mills said he was ready to take advantage of the struggling Aussie batting line-up

"Their top order will be feeling the heat a little bit to not only win the game, but also hold their spot in the team," Mills said.

Pakistan is also on the brink of elimination after a second straight defeat, a 67-run defeat against South Africa yesterday.

Misbah ul-Haq's side must now beat arch rival India on Saturday to have any chance of making the semi-finals.

Topics:  australian cricket team black caps cricket

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