Pakistan to play New Zealand in first WC semi-final today

Pakistan are set to lock horns with New Zealand in the first semi-final of the ICC Men’s Twenty20 World Cup at the Sydney Cricket Stadium — being play today (Wednesday) — seeking a spot in the final of the major cricketing event.

Pakistan will face the Kiwis for the fourth time in a World Cup semi-final, scheduled to start at 1pm. The two sides have clashed six times in the T20 World Cup history so far and Pakistan triumphed in four matches, while New Zealand managed to win two.

India and England will play the second semi-final at the Adelaide Oval stadium in Adelaide on Thursday.

The Black Caps practiced in Sydney before the big game of the mega cricket event. But, the Pakistani players took a rest, except for skipper Babar Azam, who practiced alone for one and a half hours.

The Men in Green seem to be confident as they have won their last three Group matches. They will take on New Zealand with the same winning combination. Similarly, the Black Caps also are unlikely to make any changes to the squad.

In 1992 World Cup, Pakistan clashed with New Zealand in the semi-final after having displayed dismal performances in the first three showings. Pakistan experienced the same history during this world cup as well.

These similarities have drawn the attention of many social media users. Cricket circles are also discussing the hot topic. Meanwhile, Pakistan team mentor Matthew Hayden also has something to say about the subject and called Pakistan a formidable side.

“It hasn’t been a direct influence, but we all understand the importance and significance,” the former Australian opener said in a press conference on Tuesday.

“It was also a tournament that was plagued by the nuances of Pakistan cricket; that is, there’s not a dominant performance. There’s a performance that gets challenged and then Pakistan suddenly turn up and they’re dangerous and formidable,” he added.


The 2009 champions had a heartbreaking start to their campaign when they lost a last-ball thriller to arch-rivals India, and then suffered a shock defeat to Zimbabwe in the next match.

They looked dead and buried, and victory over the Netherlands was hardly impressive as they lost four wickets in their modest chase of 92.

But Pakistan conjured up a dominant performance to hammer South Africa and revive their semi-final hopes, while the Dutch did them a favour by stunning South Africa.

Babar Azam’s team won a do-or-die clash against Bangladesh to enter the final four, with pace spearhead Shaheen Shah Afridi returning with career-best figures of 4-22.

Azam’s form remains a worry, however, with the opener managing just 39 in total runs in the last five matches.

New Zealand

The Black Caps had a resounding start to the tournament with an 89-run thrashing of defending champions and hosts Australia, setting the tone for their campaign so far.

A washout against Afghanistan did not stop their momentum. They thrashed Sri Lanka with Glenn Phillips smashing the second century of this World Cup with his 64-ball 104.

New Zealand faltered in their chase of 180 against England but regrouped to outplay minnows Ireland as skipper Kane Williamson struck form with a quickfire 61.

Last year’s beaten finalists topped the tougher of the two Super 12 groups on net run rate from pre-tournament favourites Australia and England to underline just how dangerous they are.


Pakistan: Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Haris, Shan Masood, Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Nawaz, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Wasim, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf.

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

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