T20 Cricket World Cup
New Zealand face Pakistan in the first T20 Cricket World Cup semi-final on Wednesday, before England face India on Thursday; both matches begin at 8 a.m. and can be seen live on Sky Sports Main Event and Sports Cricket World Cup.
The 2022 men’s T20 Cricket World Cup has reached the semi-final stage after three weeks of exhilarating cricket, with a couple of fascinating match-ups scheduled to take place ahead of Sunday’s showpiece conclusion. While the presence of the host team in the later rounds of a tournament is usually expected to increase interest and intensity, Australia’s withdrawal looks to be a rare exception at the T20 Cricket World Cup.
India, England, Pakistan, and New Zealand (in that order) are four of the top five T20 teams in international cricket. The star power will be great when New Zealand takes on Pakistan on Wednesday and England takes on India on Thursday, with each team certain to have fan following to match the quality of the play at the T20 Cricket World Cup.
Both games, which begin at 8 a.m., will be shown live on Sky Sports, with the final following at the same time on Sunday. Here’s all you need to know about the semi-final matchups before the tournament reaches its dramatic conclusion.
Pakistan vs. New Zealand
Although it is simply an appetizer before the main meal for England supporters, the first semi-final on Wednesday is a heavyweight encounter at the T20 Cricket World Cup. New Zealand finished second to Australia at last year’s World Cup in the UAE, after knocking England out in the semi-finals. They have a lot of experience, especially with captain Kane Williamson, all-rounder Jimmy Neesham, and fast-bowling combo Tim Southee and Trent Boult.
The skipper’s form and low strike rate with the bat had been a little concerning in the early stages of the tournament, but he bounced back with 61 from 35 balls in New Zealand’s crucial final Super 12 game against Ireland, dismissing doubts about his ability to up the ante when the situation demanded it at the T20 Cricket World Cup.
Williamson’s return to form makes New Zealand’s top four, which includes the powerhouses Finn Allen, Devon Conway, and Glenn Phillips, a frightening possibility. Phillips hit a magnificent century off 64 balls against Sri Lanka, while Conway got the Black Caps off to a flying start with an unbeaten 92 against Australia in the tournament opener.
Despite these highlights with the bat, the most impressive aspect of New Zealand’s Super 12 performance was their bowling, with spinners Mitch Santner (8 wickets) and Ish Sodhi (6) combining with quicks Southee (7), Boult (6) and Lockie Ferguson (7) to bowl out both Australia and Sri Lanka, while also taking nine wickets against Ireland at the T20 Cricket World Cup.
While New Zealand are eager to right the wrongs of last year’s final loss to Australia, Pakistan enter into the last four with somewhat of a free hit. They are the least likely of the remaining teams, having recovered from losses in their first two matches to reach the last four.
They endured painful losses – both of which came down to the last ball – against India and Zimbabwe, before coming back with victories over the Netherlands, South Africa and Bangladesh. Even then, they still needed the Proteas to collapse on the big stage once again with a stunning defeat to the Netherlands in the last round of games.
Pakistan’s dilemma as they warmed up for the tournament with a 4-3 series loss to England in September and October was that they were unduly dependent on the batting of openers Mohammad Rizwan and skipper Babar Azam at the T20 Cricket World Cup.
That has most definitely not been the situation in Australia. Babar scored 14 runs in his first four innings of the competition before being dismissed for an unimpressive 25 off 33 balls against Bangladesh.
T20 Cricket World Cup, while Pakistan will undoubtedly want their captain to step up if they are to win the World Cup, they will be encouraged by the fact that their middle order has began to contribute, most notably with Iftikhar Ahmed and Shadab Khan both scoring half century against South Africa.
With the ball, they will continue to depend largely on Shadab Khan’s spin, who has taken 10 wickets so far in the tournament, but each of the pace-bowling four of Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf, and Mohammad Wasim is capable of delivering game-changing performances.
In terms of location, the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) has hosted the tournament’s only two 200-plus scores. New Zealand hit the mark against Australia in the Super 12 opener, while South Africa smashed 205 against Bangladesh at the iconic venue. Pakistan’s remarkable 185 against the Proteas also happened in Sydney, thus a high-scoring game is possible.
England vs. India
The second semi-final pits the world’s top-ranked team, India, against the world’s second-ranked team, England.
T20 Cricket World Cup, both India and England are seeking for their second T20 championship, with India having failed to add to their success in the inaugural 2007 event and England having so far failed to build on their 2010 victory.
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