T20 World Cup: Australia, New Zealand vie for elusive trophy

Nov 14, 2021: Teams to meet in the final of the T20 World Cup on Sunday after thrilling, unlikely wins in the semi-finals.

Both finalists, Australia and New Zealand were not expected or predicted to come this far in this year’s tournament too. Australia versus New Zealand is an old rivalry in cricket that will be renewed in Dubai on Sunday. The trans-Tasman rivals have a rich history of exciting contests and their title clash brings back memories of the 2015 ODI World Cup final in Melbourne when Australia outplayed New Zealand.

It is the final of the T20 World Cup, a tournament neither side has won.

The match will begin at 7pm PST.

This previous week on Wednesday, New Zealand looked down and out in their semi-final against 50-overs world champions England. A flurry of sixes and the Kiwis sealed their maiden appearance in the title decider.

Twenty-four hours later, Pakistan had Australia reeling at 95 for five while chasing 177. It rained sixes once again to seal the unlikeliest of wins and drown Pakistan’s hopes and dreams once again.

Finch praised the Black Caps, who will appear in their third World Cup final after winning the inaugural Test Championship in June, two years after being runners-up in the 2019 50-over World Cup.

Finch said the team is flexible in their batting and called left-arm Wade a wicket-keeper-batsman, a “versatile” option when it comes to order coming up or down. Finch acknowledged the importance of suppressing the home side in the first six overs of the Power Play, especially against a powerful New Zealand fast-paced attack involving Trent Bolt and Tim Southee.

But the captain said he is not fussed about the toss and the first bowling, despite the 11-match winning streak by the second-ranked team at the Dubai International Stadium.

New Zealand captain Ken Williamson meanwhile said the team had “exciting talents” when they bid for the first Twenty20 World Cup title after losing to Devon Conway due to injury. Tim Seifert is set to take charge of wicket-keeping in Sunday’s final against Australia in Dubai. Conway, who broke his arm after an angry punch to his bat after being knocked out in the semi-final win over England, suffered a second blow after losing to the Kiwis’ Lokie Ferguson before his opening match in the tournament.

New Zealand have depended on their new-ball attack of Tim Southee and Trent Boult to unsettle opponents in the tournament.

But Williamson was asked on his team’s preparations to tackle Australia leg-spinner Adam Zampa who has 12 wickets.

Since 2015, New Zealand have managed to reach the final in four of the five global events. Two years ago, they lost to England in the final of the 50-over World Cup on a now-scrapped boundary rule.

Earlier this year, New Zealand won the inaugural Test Championship final and captain Kane Williamson will be looking to add another feather to the crown by winning the T20 World Cup.

The tournament, will today see a new winner after a clash between two teams in Dubai on Sunday, who were not among the pre-match favorite teams.

Back in 2005, Australia and New Zealand played the first Twenty20 international ever. Head to head, Australia holds the upper hand, winning nine while losing five, including a Super-Over loss.

New Zealand won the only T20 the sides have played at a neutral venue, an eight-run win at the 2016 T20 World Cup.

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