After close to three weeks of intense and riveting T20 action, we have now reached the business end and the first semi-final of the ICC T20 WC 2021 is set to take place between the 2019 ICC World Cup champions- England, and the 2021 ICC Test World Champions- New Zealand.
The two champions sides have had a wonderful and dominating journey coming into the playoffs. England, who topped the Group 1 stages with four wins in a row were made to taste a narrow defeat by the proteas but the fact that they came mighty close to clinching their 5th win in a row, shows how dominant the English side have been in the tournament.
Ahead of Wednesday's (3am Thursday morning NZT) @T20WorldCup semi-final against @englandcricket relive the team's path to the finals. Match Highlights | https://t.co/6ThlKiymVM #T20WorldCup pic.twitter.com/56evuQYOUJ— BLACKCAPS (@BLACKCAPS) November 9, 2021
The kiwis on the other hand after the loss to Pakistan in their opening clash have been impeccable. However, they did seem close to an upset against the spirited Namibian side but their finishers punished the minnows in the death overs to ensure the kiwis were home comfortably.
Battle of the 50-over champions vs the Test champions, can the Blackcaps stamp their authority in the shortest format as well? Or will the England team move one step closer to claiming their third World cup title?
Match Toss Time: 17:30 Local (19:00 IST)
Match Start Time: 18:00 Local (19:30 IST)
Match Venue: Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi
Head to Head
Matches played: 20, England: 13, New Zealand: 7
Weather conditions and pitch
A huge blow as England’s in-form batsman Jason Roy has been ruled out of the tournament after being injured in the Super 12 clash against South Africa. With Sam Billings being the only batsman on the bench, he is likely to replace the destructive opener. The rest is likely to remain the same.
The kiwis have no injury concerns and they have managed to score four consecutive wins with a very unorthodox team. With just 5 full-time batsmen, the kiwis do not possess a great depth in their batting, but given that Jimmy Neesham has been in great touch could just save the blackcaps from exploiting their tail too early.
Probable Playing Xl
England (ENG): Sam Billings, Jos Buttler (wk), Dawid Malan, Jonny Bairstow, Eoin Morgan (c), Liam Livingstone, Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Chris Jordan, Adil Rashid, Mark Wood
New Zealand (NZ): Martin Guptill, Daryl Mitchell, Kane Williamson (c), Devon Conway (wk), Glenn Phillips, James Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Adam Milne, Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi, Trent Boult
The only centurion of the tournament, the English opener Jos Buttler’s selection is a no-brainer. Along with the opener, Kiwi opener Daryl Mitchell has showcased some bold performances and he is likely to score some quick runs as well.
Veteran Kiwi opener Martin Guptill and English all-rounder Moeen Ali are our remaining two must-picks as they both have been in exemplary touch and are likely to bolster the fantasy line-up.
ENG vs NZ fantasy team
Captain and Vice-captain picks
# The kiwis have won just once in 8 matches against the England side while chasing. They have a better record while setting a target, winning 6 out of 12 encounters.
# Martin Guptil with 467 runs, is the highest run-getter in this fixture. Kiwi all-rounder Mitchell Santner with 16 wickets is the highest wicket-taker in this fixture.
# Martin Guptill is now 112 runs away from overhauling the Indian skipper Virat Kohli (3227) as the highest run-getter in the T20I format.
# With 106 wickets to his name, Kiwi pacer, Tim Southee stands to be the third-highest wicket-taker in T20Is and he is two wickets away from overtaking the Sri Lankan legend Malinga’s tally of 107 wickets.
# Eoin Morgan, who has 41 wins under his belt as a skipper is just one win away from overtaking the former Indian skipper MS Dhoni and hold the joint record with former Afghanistan skipper Asghar Afghan for the skipper with most T20I wins (42).
The 2019 ICC World Cup finalists, so we know when these two teams clash we are promised to witness some intense action. Both teams are in exceptional form. However, the English side looks a complete side, and with the fact that the kiwi batting line-up is a tend volatile, we feel the English side might just get the better of Kane Williamson and Co.
Cricwizz predicts England to win the first semi-final of the ICC T20 WC 2021.
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