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T20 World Cup Semi-Finals: New Zealand Vs Pakistan Match Preview

The ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 will see its first semi-final match of this tournament between New Zealand and Pakistan. While the Kiwis dominated their group and entered the semis comfortably, Pakistan managed to mount an incredible comeback after losing their first two matches in the Super 12 stage. Now both prepare to face off at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) on Wednesday, November 9.

New Zealand will be squaring off against Pakistan for the first time in the first semi-final match of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022.

New Zealand has been dominant in the Super 12 stage, losing just once in the tournament so far. They began their campaign with a dominant 89-run victory over hosts Australia and their only defeat of the campaign was a 20-run loss to England.

The Kiwis brushed off that defeat with a 35-run victory over Ireland in their final Super 12 game where captain Kane Williamson led from the front. Williamson scored 61 off just 35 balls to help his team post 185/6.

On the other hand, the Pakistan team suffered painful last-ball defeats to India and Zimbabwe right at the start of their Super 12 campaign. However, they bounced back with wins against Netherlands, South Africa, and Bangladesh to keep their hopes of lifting a second T20 World Cup trophy alive.

Pakistan needed some help though and it came in the form of the Netherlands who pulled off a stunning upset against South Africa in the final round of Super 12 matches. The Proteas’ defeat opened the door for Pakistan who had to face off against Bangladesh in a straight shootout for the final semifinal spot. Shaheen Afridi stepped up with his career-best T20I figures of 4/22 to help Pakistan restrict Bangladesh to just 127/8 before Mohammad Haris played a blistering knock of 31 from just 18 balls to help seal the win. The victory saw Pakistan leapfrog the Proteas and finish second in Group 2 with six points.

Form and Composition

The Kiwis have looked like a solid unit with their bowling unit particularly impressive so far. They bowled out Australia and Sri Lanka for 111 and 102 respectively with England the only team to go past the 150-run mark against them.

The power-hitting duo of Finn Allen and Glenn Phillips have also contributed immensely to the team’s balance with captain Williamson able to take his time as he goes through the gears.

Meanwhile, Pakistan will be boosted by the return to form of Afridi as well as both openers Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan playing decent knocks in their win against Bangladesh. The top order has been a spot of worry for the Men in Green but with Babar and Rizwan firing they’re a completely different prospect to handle.

The two sides last faced off in October in the finals of a T20I tri-series tournament in New Zealand where Pakistan beat the Kiwis courtesy of a player of the match performance from Mohammad Nawaz who took 1/33 and chipped in with an unbeaten 38 off 22 balls in his side’s 5-wicket victory.

This time around though the stakes are much highest as they meet at the biggest stage of all with a spot in the World Cup finals up for grabs.

New Zealand vs Pakistan Head to Head in T20Is

Matches played: 28

New Zealand wins: 11

Pakistan wins: 17

Pitch and Weather: New Zealand posted 200/3 in their tournament opener against Australia at the very same venue. The track at the SCG is a batting paradise and Pakistan also have experience playing here, scoring 185/9 en route to their victory against South Africa. The weather forecast has predicted clear skies so we should be in for an entertaining game of cricket.

New Zealand Possible XI: Finn Allen, Devon Conway (WK), Kane Williamson (C), Glenn Phillips, James Neesham, Daryl Mitchell, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Lockie Ferguson and Trent Boult.

Pakistan Possible XI: Mohammad Rizwan (WK), Babar Azam (C), Mohammad Haris, Shan Masood, Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Nawaz, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Wasim Jr, Naseem Shah, Haris Rauf and Shaheen Afridi.

The match starts at 1.30 PM IST. In India, the match will be broadcast on the Star Sports Network. Online viewers can follow the live-action via Disney+Hotstar.

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