The Semi-Final 1 of the 2021 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup will feature a high-voltage battle between Group 1 table-toppers England and the underdog from Group 2, New Zealand, with both teams aiming for the prestigious ICC trophy. This game will be a clash of styles and strategies in many ways. In the 2019 World Cup final, New Zealand forced England to play a counterattacking game, which matched Williamson’s team better than Morgan’s. If New Zealand can repeat the feat in Abu Dhabi, they will have a fighting chance of exacting vengeance.
England will enter the match as favorites, having beaten NZ in 13 of 21 meetings. They’ll also be looking for a repeat of Jos Buttler’s match-winning heroics. New Zealand, on the other hand, would be trying to exact revenge on England.
Head to Head
England have won 13 of the 21 T20Is played between the two sides, while New Zealand have won seven (with one No Result and one Tied). In T20 World Cups, England have won three, while New Zealand have won two of their five meetings.
Batters to watch out for
England’s Jos Buttler has been the tournament’s standout batter, scoring the tournament’s only century against Sri Lanka and adding a brutal unbeaten 71 against Australia, and averages 120. In terms of total runs, he stands second only behind Pakistan’s Babar Azam. England’s only other batter with more than 100 runs in the tournament is the injured Roy, with Eoin Morgan and Dawid Malan having respectable averages but low strike rates, and Liam Livingstone and Jonny Bairstow scoring quickly in just two innings.
Martin Guptill’s strike rate of 131.34 is critical to a quick start, while Jimmy Neesham and Glenn Phillips have been crucial in the middle-order. They have scored quickly, with Neesham’s striking at 148.39 and averaging more than 40 – so does captain Kane Williamson, but with a strike rate of less than a run per ball.
Bowlers to watch out for
New Zealand pace duo
Trent Boult has 11 wickets at 10.45 and Tim Southee has seven at 16.29, with both seamers conceding less than six runs per over.
Moeen Ali has picked up seven wickets so far, behind only Adil Rashid with eight wickets for England. Moeen averages 11 and has a 5.50 economy rate when bowling in the powerplay.
Stats to look out for
- England have won both of its previous semi-final appearances in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, making them the only team with a perfect record at this stage, while New Zealand have lost both of its previous attempts.
- Trent Boult is the leading wicket-taker among seamers in the competition, with 11 wickets at 10.45 and an economy rate of 5.84, trailing Wanindu Hasaranga’s 16 scalps – though that tally includes Sri Lanka’s three qualifying round matches.
Probable Playing XIs
Jos Buttler (wk), Jonny Bairstow, Dawid Malan, Moeen Ali, Eoin Morgan (c), Sam Billings, Liam Livingstone, Chris Woakes, Chris Jordan, Mark Wood, Adil Rashid
Martin Guptill, Daryl Mitchell, Kane Williamson (c), Devon Conway (wk), Glenn Phillips, James Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Adam Milne Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi, Trent Boult