Babar Azam's Pakistan is all set to face Kane Williamson-led New Zealand in the first semi-final of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2022 in Sydney on Wednesday. New Zealand have won the toss and have elected to bat first. As per experts, the first batting team will have an advantage over the opponents. In the last 6 matches in this tournament at the Sydney Cricket Ground, five times the team batting first has bested the team chasing.
As per ICC records, Pakistan and New Zealand have faced each other thrice in World Cup semis in different formats. The first one was in 1992 ODI World Cup, second was 1999 ODI World Cup and the third one was 2007 T20 World Cup.
New Zealand have made it to the T20 World Cup semifinal level four times, but haven’t won the trophy. They ended as the runners-up in the last edition in 2021.
So far, New Zealand has played outstanding innings this tournament after defeating the reigning champions Australia in the league matches. Williamson's side lost to Super 12 Group 1 top scorer England, but managed to qualify for the semifinals.
Pakistan, on the other hand, were defeated by Team India and Zimbabwe in the league matches. But they performed well against Netherlands and South Africa in the Super 12 Group 2, and South Africa's shock defeat against the Netherlands helped them qualify at the last moment to the semifinals. Pakistan skipper Babar Azam has not been in the best of form, and has been criticised for scoring just 39 runs in 5 games. As per experts, Pakistan’s performance will depend on the top order batsmen, including innings opener Mohammad Rizwan.
Squads at play
Pakistan: Mohammad Rizwan(w), Babar Azam(c), Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Haris, Shan Masood, Iftikhar Ahmed, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Wasim Jr, Naseem Shah, Haris Rauf, Shaheen Afridi, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Hasnain, Haider Ali, Asif Ali.
New Zealand: Finn Allen, Devon Conway(w), Kane Williamson(c), Glenn Phillips, Daryl Mitchell, James Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi, Lockie Ferguson, Trent Boult, Martin Guptill, Adam Milne, Michael Bracewell, Mark Chapman.
Weather in Sydney
The Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology has said that the weather in Sydney on Wednesday, November 9, could be partly cloudy with a slight chance of a shower in the morning.
"Partly cloudy. Slight (30 per cent) chance of a shower along the coastal fringe in the morning. Light winds becoming east to northeasterly 15 to 25 km/h in the afternoon, becoming light in the late evening," read the statement.
Humidity will remain high during the match, with it being 62 per cent at the start and rising up to 73 per cent by 11 PM. The temperature at the beginning of the first semi-final will be around 19-degree celsius and is expected to go down as the game progresses.
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