England look to repeat history as NZ bid to add new chapter with win in World T20 semi - GulfToday

England look to repeat history as NZ bid to add new chapter with win in World T20 semi


England players attend a practice session ahead of their semifinal match with New Zealand in Dubai on Tuesday. AP

Mohammad Abdullah, Senior Sports Reporter

Formidable New Zealand will bid to erase the painful memories of the 2019, 50-over World Cup final with a victory over England in the World T20 semi-final in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.

The two sides will meet in the last-four clash, which is also being billed as the re-match of the 2019 World Cup final, with an eye on a berth in the title showdown. England were declared the winners via boundary count rule after both Super Over and the match had ended in a tie.

New Zealand have a chance to pacify the lacerated feeling of the fans back home with a victory while England will look inflict more pain on Kiwis by rubbing salt to their wound.

Both the teams have been in a stupendous form throughout the tournament and have won four of their five matches to make it to the semis.

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson described a depleted England as a very tough opponent. England have been marred by injuries to a couple of their frontline players Tymal Mills and Jason Roy ahead of the important game.

“It is really unfortunate that they have suffered injuries at this junction of the tournament. But they have a lot of depth that they have managed to produce over a period of time,” said Williamson.

“Anyone, who has spent time at the Birmingham Phoenix and the newly launched 100-ball event, can see there is huge pool of talented players in the country. They're still a very strong side, are playing some really good cricket."

“They have the match-winners from top to bottom. It is a big strength. It is because of their white ball movement. They have a power-packed side and a very deep batting line-up,” he added.

New Zealand have played consistently over two years. They were the finalist in the 2019 World Cup and beat India in the final of the Test World championship in the beginning of the year.

They will bank on the pace duo of Trent Boult and Tim Southee, who have been their strength. Both have taken a combined of 18 wickets and unsettled the opposition batsmen with crafty swing and ferocious pace. Williamson lauded the pace pair.

“They've been brilliant throughout the competition. They' ve been involved with us in all formats for a long time. They are very experienced campaigners.”

Williamson downplayed the talks of the loss in the eventful final of the 50-over World Cup in England, where the boundary count was the decisive factor to crown the new champion.

"It was an amazing to be a part of the historic game. When it comes up in conversation, we look back on it fondly and relish that experience,” he informed.

Someone rightly said, the memories of the past are always sweet to cherish irrespective of its bitterness.

Meanwhile, a buoyant England are brimming with the confidence but the injury blow may disrupt their winning run. Roy along with Buttler had gelled in well in the role of opener and they were giving a good foundation to the team.

But they have more options in opening slot as but it will interesting who comes to open. The spin duo of Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali will be a major force to reckon with as they have put up a splendid performance so far in the tournament.

Ali is also in good knack with bat as he showed against South Africa. He can derail New Zealand’s bowlers in the power play with some big hits to set the tone. Chris Jordan, Chris Woakes and Mark Wood are likely to stick to their roles.

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