T20 World Cup 2021: New Zealand's road to the final
New Zealand will be taking on Australia in the final of the ICC T20 World Cup 2021 on Sunday. The Kiwis finished second in Group 2 of the Super 12 stage before stunning England in the first semi-final. New Zealand have reached the final in three successive ICC tournaments across formats. The disciplined NZ outfit will need to outsmart Australia. We decode their journey.
Why does this story matter?
New Zealand lost their first encounter in the tournament against Pakistan before stitching five consecutive wins. It has been an all-round performance with different players stepping up and delivering the goods. The bowling and fielding have been sound. Kane Williamson's side deserves praise for their character and simplicity. They are now a force under Williamson in big events and that's massive.
New Zealand's report card in the Super 12 stage
Pakistan overcame the Kiwis by five wickets, chasing down 135 runs. The Kiwis needed a strong response against India and they found a way to tame Virat Kohli's men. After restricting India to 110/7, NZ sealed the tie comfortably. NZ overcame Scotland next by 16 runs and then sealed a 52-run victory against Namibia. They overcame Afghanistan next by eight wickets.
NZ stun England in the semis
England were the favorites going into the semi-final game against NZ. The Three Lions were in control of the match before NZ finished things in style. Batting first, England posted 166/4 in 20 overs. Moeen Ali scored an unbeaten 51. In response, NZ were restricted to 107/4 in 15.1 overs. They smashed 60 runs from the next 23 balls to seal the deal.
The top performers for NZ in T20 WC 2021
Daryl Mitchell has been the top scorer for New Zealand in the ICC T20 World Cup 2021. He has amassed 197 runs with the best score of 72* versus England. He has an average of 39.40. Left-arm pacer Trent Boult has been fantastic in the tournament. He has claimed 11 wickets at 14.09. Ish Sodhi (9 wickets) has chipped in as well.
T20Is: H2H record between New Zealand and Australia
The two sides have met 14 times in T20I cricket, with Australia leading the head-to-head series 9-5 (includes NZ's Super Over win). Earlier this year, New Zealand beat Australia 3-2 in the five-match T20I series at home. As far as the T20 World Cup is concerned, the two sides have clashed only once. The Black Caps won in the 2016 edition by eight runs.
Key details about the final
The final will be held at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium. It will begin at 7:30 PM IST. Both New Zealand and Australia won their last games on this venue. The wicket here assists the batters, while the bowlers also receive help. One can watch the match live on the Star Sports Network and stream the same on Disney+ Hotstar (paid subscription).