New Zealand will face Pakistan in the first semifinal of the ongoing ICC Men’s T20 World Cup at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) on Wednesday, November 9.

New Zealand thrashed host and champion Australia in their opening game of Super 12 stage, had a match washed out with Ireland and lost a high-quality contest against England before qualifying for the fifth successive white-ball World Cup semifinal as group winner.

On the other hand, Pakistan’s campaign started with a one-run defeat against their arch-rivals India in jam-packed Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) which was followed by a shocking loss at the hands of Zimbabwe and a rain-disrupted win over South Africa. They reached into the final four by beating Bangladesh but only after a stunning win of the Dutch side against the Proteas in the final round of the group matches had cleared their path.

Head to head record in T20Is

Played: 28 | New Zealand won: 11 | Pakistan won: 17

Pitch and Weather report

The pitch that will be used for the first semi-final is same that hosted the Super 12 fixture between Australia and New Zealand. It was the flattest and most batting-friendly of the three pitches that have been used in the six games played at the SCG so far.

There are 22% chance of rain in Sydney, but at 10 am (local time) on Wednesday.

Probable XI

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

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

Recent form

New Zealand: WLWWL (last five completed T20Is, most recent first)
Pakistan: WWWLL

Captain’s corner

“They’re a strong side. A very well-balanced side,” Kane Williamson summarized his opponents ahead of the knockout game.

“In this format, it can be fickle. You’re certainly trying to take the risks required to move your team forward. And as we know the quality they have, the Pakistan team from one to right down the order. They’ve [also] got an understanding pace attack. They’ve been playing really good cricket. [They have] very experienced players on their side, match winners. So real strength,” he added.

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