Wednesday 30th March. 2:30PM. Sky Sports 2
After a scintillating Super 10 group phase, just four teams remain in the hunt to lift the 2016 Twenty20 World Cup in India. The semi-final stage begins on Wednesday afternoon as England meet New Zealand in Delhi.
Both nations will fancy their chances of reaching Sunday’s final at Eden Gardens, and we should be in for a thrilling afternoon of action. It’s set to 40 overs of intense drama from start to finish, and could be one that goes all the way to wire.
Here’s everything you need to know ahead of the clash.
England Looking For Third Win In Delhi
Trevor Bayliss’s men didn’t start this tournament in particularly strong form, losing their opening group game to the West Indies and only just edging their way past South Africa before putting in a poor performance against Afghanistan.
However, they followed that win over Afghanistan with a well fought victory over Sri Lanka to seal their place in the semi’s and those previous wins at the Feroz Shah Koala Stadium should afford an extra degree of confidence to Eoin Morgan and the boys.
Ben Stokes has been vocal about his belief that their knowledge of the wicket can give them advantage. England will also be looking to channel the energy of their T20 warm-up victory over the Kiwis in Mumbai, as well as last summer’s series win, to reach the final once more.
It’s been six years since England won the competition, but they have every chance of reaching the final. But not if New Zealand have their way…
Can Kiwi’s Extend Perfect Run
There is no question that Mike Hesson’s squad have been the most consistent in the tournament so far as they blew away all four Group B opponents, including both Australia and host nation India. If the spin attack of Mitchell Santner, Nathan McCullum and Ish Sodhi perform a sthey have so far, England’s batsmen could be in for a truly tough test in Delhi.
New Zealand are in great form and will enter this semi-final as the slight favourites. However, it is worth noting that the Kiwis have never progressed beyond this stage of the competition. That, combined with the inexperience on this wicket could play into England hands.
Having said that Kane Williamson and his fellow players will have huge confidence about the way they are playing right now, and could well be set to create a little piece of history by progressing to Sunday’s final.
With India or West Indies awaiting in Sunday’s final, the winner will be hopeful of being crowned champions. Whatever happens, it should be a thrilling spectacle.
England v New Zealand T20 Semi-Final Betting
There is a strong feeling that this semi-final will be won by fine margins, which is reflected by the betting odds at Bet365, who have made New Zealand the 8/11 favourites while England can be backed at Evens.
However, you can back England at slightly enhanced odds with Boylesports. In truth, this selection is a little bit of a patriotic bet. Having said that, we do think Morgna and the boys have a 50-50 chance.
At odds of over Evens, it has to be worth a punt.
If England are going to win, they will need a big performance some of their biggest stars. They don’t come bigger than Joe Root, who is currently the tournament’s fourth highest scoring batsman but will be eager to climb the rankings here.
The England batsman could hold the key to deciding the outcome one way or the other. Let’s just hope it’s for the better.