Nov 10, 2021: England and New Zealand will face each other in the first semi-final of the ICC T20 World Cup today (Wednesday) at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.
Eoin Morgan’s England will be the favorites against New Zealand in today’s Twenty20 World Cup clash, two years after the two sides clashed in a dramatic final of the 50 over world cup format.
England have lost opening batsman Jason Roy and fast bowler Tim Mills but have made it to the final four with four wins in five Super 12 matches. Roy fell to the pitch in England’s last group match with a shin injury, lost to South Africa and was later knocked out of the tournament, and was replaced by James Vince.
England’s aggressive cricketing brand has overtaken the West Indies, Bangladesh, Australia and Sri Lanka as the group leaders ahead of Australia with clinical ease. But the Kiwis are not a pushover and who could be better than England to appreciate the value of the Black Caps when they needed a super over to knock out Kayne Williamson’s team when the 2019 ODI World Cup final tie.
“If England and New Zealand provide a part of the drama they did on a great afternoon at Lord’s in July 2019, then the T20 World Cup could get the spark it longs for this week.” Former England captain Mike Atherton wrote in the Times.
New Zealand made 241 for England thanks to Ben Stokes’ unbeaten 84 at the end of 50 overs and then 15 runs in the Super Over before England were declared the winners on the boundary count. England have reached the final four of the T20 World Cup without star performers Stokes and Joffra Archer, and Roy’s departure adds to their woes ahead of today’s match in Abu Dhabi.
Joss Butler scored an unbeaten 101 against Sri Lanka to score the only century of the tournament and finished second behind Pakistan captain Babar Azam (264) with 240 runs. Chris Woakes is leading the fast bowling charge which has been fully met by Chris Jordan while spinners Adil Rashid and Moin Ali have proved their worth by taking eight and seven wickets respectively.
New Zealand Fast bowlers Trent Bolt and Tim Southee shared 18 wickets between them to upset the opposition with their initial strike.
After losing his opener against Pakistan, Williamson’s New Zealand has worked well as a team and gained momentum in their favor by beating India in their second game. They then reached the semi-finals, by beating Scotland, Namibia and Afghanistan, but Bolt acknowledged his opponents as a balanced side.
According to Bolt, who has a has a strike rate of 10.7 in this tournament believes early wickets against England’s top order will be the key to success. “We know the magic recipe that early wickets put pressure on opponents,” he said. “It doesn’t happen some days, it does happen some days, but if we can go there and upset a very powerful top order in England, I think we will succeed. But it certainly won’t be easy. “
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