Five points worth knowing before the England vs NZ T20 World Cup semi-final
England and New Zealand will meet in the first semi-final of the T20 World Cup on Wednesday.
Whether you’re a fan of Eoin Morgan’s men, the Black Caps or neutral, here are five factors well worth knowing ahead of this key clash.
T20 World Cup history
England won the tournament in 2010, when it was still known as the World Twenty20. They took out Sri Lanka in the semi-final and Australia in the final.
The format was still relatively new to international cricket at the time and England relied on T20 pioneers such as Craig Kieswetter, Michael Yardy and Luke Wright at the time.
Morgan was in that squad, which was captained by Paul Collingwood. England reached the final again in 2016, but lost to the West Indies.
New Zealand are still seeking a maiden T20 World Cup title. They have reached and lost two semi-finals. Those were in 2007 and 2016.
England and New Zealand have met 21 times in T20I cricket so far. England have won more than half. They have a baker’s dozen victories to the Kiwis’ seven, with one tie and a no-result.
Six of England’s 13 were collected consecutively from 2008 to 2013. They last met in this format in 2019, when the scores were level after regular play.
England then won the one-over eliminator, as Bairstow powered twin sixes before Chris Jordan bowled economically enough to consign the Black Caps to defeat.
England will go without Jason Roy for this semi-final. He has been sidelined by a leg injury sustained in defeat to South Africa recently.
With Roy sidelined, Sam Billings or James Vince could enter the XI and Vince, Jonny Bairstow, Liam Livingstone, Dawid Malan or Moeen Ali be promoted to open alongside Jos Buttler.
Lockie Ferguson was ruled out of New Zealand’s campaign due to a similar calf muscle injury to Roy. The Black Caps have missed the outright fast bowler’s clever slower deliveries, but have found success in the rest of their seam attack regardless.
Conditions and circumstance
This semi-final will be played at the Zayed Cricket Stadium. This Abu Dhabi venue has brought three wins for the team batting first and as many for the side batting second in the last six T20 World Cup matches here.
We can look forward to another solid contest between a couple of evenly-matched and balanced XIs.
Rather this, than a one-sided affair that heavily favours the team bowling second, which has sometimes been the case at the United Arab Emirates’ other grounds in Dubai and Sharjah.
Top batsmen and bowlers
England and New Zealand have a batsman each among the 2021 T20 World Cup’s top run-scorers so far. Buttler has hit 240 runs in five innings for the English. Martin Guptill has 176 in five for the Black Caps.
The countries each have a bowler in the top 10 wicket-takers as well. For New Zealand, it’s Trent Boult with 11 wickets in five matches.
For England, it’s Adil Rashid with eight in five. Besides Rashid, there should be another in-form leg-spinner involved in this match.
Ish Sodhi also has eight wickets in five matches like Rashid, but has a weaker economy rate and inferior average to his England counterpart.
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