AUSTRALIA: In the ICC T20 World Cup Super 12, both groups had some dramatic scenarios. South Africa and India were the top contenders from group 2 to qualify for the semifinals.
Although India has already qualified for the semifinals, South Africa has failed to do so. After a shocking defeat by the Netherlands, South Africa is officially out of the race to win the T20 World cup
This unexpected scenario allowed Pakistan to slide into the semifinals by beating Bangladesh. Now Pakistan will face New Zealand on November 9 at SCG.
Group 1 analysis
New Zealand looked quite good right from the start; they started the tournament with a win, and that too against Australia. With England, Australia, New Zealand, and Sri Lanka in the same group, some top teams will miss the semifinals.
There was a time in the tournament when New Zealand, Australia, and England all had 5 points, and a match left to play.
New Zealand qualified first, but Australia’s qualification depended on if Sri Lanka beat England.
Since England won the game against Sri Lanka in the very last over and Australia failed to qualify. Who would have guessed that Australia, the defending champions, would not even qualify for the semi-finals?
Ireland beat England, Zimbabwe beat Pakistan; the Netherlands beat South Africa. This world cup has been a roller coaster ride so far.
New Zealand vs. Pakistan is going to be an exciting semifinal battle. In the past 28 T20 international matches between Pakistan and New Zealand, Pakistan has won 17 times.
The Blackcaps, in comparison, were only able to win 11 games altogether. Pakistan has a history of crushing New Zealand in international competitions and has yet to lose to the Blackcaps in a semi-final, regardless of the format.
But let us not forget New Zealand qualified first in the group of death. So, it is Pakistan who should be more careful. On a final thought, this is a semi-final of a world cup; no one can predict!
Battles to watch out for
Shaheen Afridi vs Fin Allen – This contest is in the air; everybody is excited about how the aggressive Allen will counter the attacking Afridi. Afridi has taken 8 wickets so far, and Allen has scored 91 runs in the tournament.
Iftikhar Ahmed vs .Trent Boult – A man who hits the ball quite hard and far vs the man who does not consider runs in the death overs, another good battle worth watching. Boult took 6 wickets in the tournament, and Iftikhar is the leading run-scorer from Pakistan, with 114 runs.
Cricket analysts believe New Zealand’s team needs some significant changes, and Pakistan needs some fine-tuning.
New Zealand (probable) – Devon Conway (wk), Finn Allen, Kane Williamson(C), Glenn Phillips, Daryl Mitchell, James Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi, Lockie Ferguson, Trent Boult
Pakistan (probable) – Babar Azam (c), Md Rizwan(wk), Mohammad Haris, Shan Masood, Iftikhar Ahmed, Shadab Khan, Md Nawaz, Md Wasim Jr, Harris Rauf, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi.
Also Read: England Vs Australia Match Preview