New Zealand would look for an outright win over England in the last T20I league match of the tri-series at Hamilton on Sunday. England would have to win the T20I against New Zealand by a big margin to earn a berth in the final.
At the moment, New Zealand have two points from three matches, while England have zero points from three games. New Zealand can still qualify for the final even if they lose the match against England, but if the margin of defeat is less enough for them to qualify for the title round.
Cricwizz takes a look at the strengths and weaknesses of the two ahead of the T20I between New Zealand and England.
New Zealand strengths:
Opening combination: New Zealand openers – Martin Guptill and Colin Munro – have had helped the team in a strong position in the T20I against Australia. Guptill cracked 105, while Munro slammed 76. But it ended up on a losing note as NZ lost the match. However, the two will come out all guns blazing in the T20I against England to help the team enter final.
New Zealand weaknesses:
Bowling lacks penetration: New Zealand bowlers failed to defend a big total of 243 against Australia. Ben Wheeler leaked 20 runs per over. Other New Zealand bowlers also conceded a lot of runs as Australia managed a record chase. New Zealand bowlers would have to put up a better show in the last T20I league clash for an outright win and a berth in the final.
All-round strength: England have an all-round unit with effective T20 batsmen in Jason Roy, Alex Hales, Jos Buttler and efficient T20 bowlers in Chris Jordan and Adil Rashid. They just need to put up a team effort to outsmart New Zealand by a big margin and book a berth in the final.
Losing momentum: England have struggled in the T20 format after the 4-1 ODI series win over Australia recently. They have lost three T20Is in a row, but can undo all the damage if they win the next two T20Is. Hence, it will be important for England to break the losing momentum and put up a better show in the last T20I clash.
England squad: Eoin Morgan, Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Tom Curran, Liam Dawson, Alex Hales, Chris Jordan, Dawid Malan, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, James Vince, David Willey, Mark Wood, Sam Curran, Jake Ball.
Prediction: England have been on a losing momentum in this T20I series. New Zealand have been a better team in this series, but results have not gone their way. But they would start favourite against England in the last league T20I clash. Our vote goes to New Zealand.
Possible winner: New Zealand