Australia have won all the ICC trophies so far, except for one of the six Twenty20 World Cups. This time they will fight hard to take the T20 World Cup from the United Arab Emirates.
Despite having a number of cricketers in the Australian team who have played with dominance in the world’s biggest franchise leagues, they have not done very well as a team. Australia has been going through a difficult time in this edition for a long time.
Before coming to the World Cup, their performance against Bangladesh was simple. But the UAE’s pitch and wide field boundaries have greatly benefited their bowlers, especially Adam Jumpa. As well as the return of David Warner in his usual form of horror, the chances of Australia winning the World Cup this time have increased even more.
But before that they have to face Pakistan in the semi-finals, who are the best team in the tournament so far. Pakistan has played great cricket in the World Cup and is the only team that has not lost a single match in the Super Twelve.
They didn’t even bother to win any match. Not only did they have a chance to lose against Afghanistan, but they also won the match with more than one over in Asif Ali’s stormy batting.
Pakistan has always been a tough opponent. There are a number of talented players in their team. But the thing they always lagged behind was the excited mentality. This time everyone in Babar Azam’s team is much calmer than before and they are very much aware of the pace of the match.
If Babur can keep himself fit and inspired, then there is no doubt that he will be one of the best ever. He has also established himself as one of the best captains of all time in Pakistan.
He can read the situation of the match extraordinarily and the way he is adjusting the fielding and changing the bowler according to the situation of the game is incredibly perfect.
Under no circumstances will Babur suffer from a lack of bowlers for the team’s varied bowling attack. This is a huge advantage for a captain. In today’s game they have to pick up some wickets very fast. Because, if the Finch-Warner pairing stands, it will be very difficult to stop Australia.
Two years since going toe-to-toe in a thrilling 50-overs World Cup final, England and New Zealand will again seek to deliver a knockout blow when they face each other in the semi-finals of the Twenty20 global showpiece in Abu Dhabi today. The clash pits contemporary cricket’s most dominant white-ball team England against arguably the most consistent cross-format side New Zealand, who have reached the final of three of the last four major global tournaments.
Kane Williamson’s team finally shed their bridesmaid’s tag by winning the inaugural World Test Championship earlier this year and, like England, are now bidding to become reigning champions in two formats. “If England and New Zealand provide a fraction of the drama they did on a glorious afternoon at Lord’s in July 2019, then the T20 World Cup might get the spark it desperately craves this week,” former England captain Mike Atherton wrote in The Times.
An unbeaten 34 off 16 from Phillips, which included 5 fours and 2 sixes, helps New Zealand over the line with seven wickets in hand and 4.3 overs to spare. A facile win for New Zealand, who come back well after losing two successive games. This is also their third T20I series win on the trot.
A disciplined performance from the bowlers set things up nicely for the hosts, who then sprinted to the target thanks to the efforts of Guptill and Phillips.
Finally, Australia see the back of Guptill who departs for a well-made 71 off 46 deliveries. Jhye Richardson bags the wicket, as Guptill top-edges a pull to hand a catch to Marsh at short fine
Phillips has been busy since arriving at the crease, scoring a barrage of boundaries. Having struck a four off Agar to the cow corner region, Phillips went straight, pulled and struck through covers for three fours off Meredith as New Zealand move to 124 for 2 after 14 overs.
Australia fighting back now but is it a little too late? Meredith strikes twice in the 12th over. Conway slices a catch to sweeper cover while Williamson is out leg-before, with an umpire’s call on review. New Zealand are 106 for 2 after 12.
New Zealand get going:
Conway gets his first boundary by crunching a cut off Agar in the third over. Jhye Richardson keeps it tight in the fourth over, conceding only 3. New Zealand are 28 for 0 after 4.
Agar opens the attack for Australia and concedes only 5.
But he falls in the next over as he strikes a full toss straight to Guptill. Agar also falls to a full toss, caught by the same fielder.
Santner finishes his spell with figure of 0 for 21, conceding only 6 off his last over. Australia are 112 for 4 after 16 and need to accelerate.
100 up for Australia:
Wade continues confidently, scoring a six over midwicket off Sodhi. The 100 comes up in the 14th over but it’s a quiet over as Santner concedes only three.
A failure for Maxwell as he departs after scoring only 1. Australia are 77 for 3 after 11 overs.
Sodhi from the other end and he gives away only 5 in his first over. Meanwhile, Finch and Wade raise a half-century stand. Australia are 58 for 1 after 8.
Finch nearly clears the boundary when he plays a pick-up shot off Southee to the midwicket region. Wade then manages the first six off the innings hitting one over the backward square leg fence. 15 off the Southee over as Australia move to 47 for 1 after 6.
Three boundaries so far for Wade since his arrival – two off Boult in different overs and one off Santner. Finch has also struck a four off Santner as Australia get going after a slow start.
A change in the batting order for Australia as Josh Philippe comes out to open with Finch. Spin from the other end as Santner starts with a tight over, conceding only 1. Australia are 8 for 0.
Toss and teams:
Australia captain Aaron Finch wins the toss and has no hesitation to bat first.
With similar conditions expected for the final game, Australia will bank on their spin resources to deliver again.
New Zealand’s batting, meanwhile, has hit a U-turn of its own.