Monday, May 23, 2022

AUS Vs NZ, T20 World Cup 2021: Eerie Similarity En Route To Final Is Simply Startling

Identical semifinal victory margins, winning with an over to spare, New Zealand and Australia have stunned statisticians. NZ play AUS in T20 World Cup final on Sunday

AUS Vs NZ, T20 World Cup 2021: Eerie Similarity En Route To Final Is Simply Startling
Daryl Mitchell, left, and Matthew Wade, right, played pivotal knocks to help their respective teams register stunning wins in the semis. Composite: AP Photos

The seventh edition of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup will come to a close on Sunday (November 14) with a mouth-watering clash between Australia and New Zealand. Both the teams are chasing their maiden T20 world titles. Here's a brief primer. (More Cricket News)

The build-up to the Dubai finale is dominated by talks of how the two Trans-Tasman teams, known for their famed rivalry, registered eerily similar wins in their respective semi-final matches.

New Zealand, who started their campaign with a five-wicket defeat against Pakistan in their Group 2 in Super 12, defeated Group a winners England by five wickets at Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi on November 10. 24 hours later, Australia defeated another favourites, Pakistan by the same margin at Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Dubai.

That's not all.

Both the sides needed 60+ runs in the last five overs, and 22 in the last two, but completed the chase with one over to spare after winning the toss. And both sides entered the knock-outs as second-placed teams in the group stage.

In the first semi-final, New Zealand chased down England's 166/4 with opener Daryl Mitchell hitting an unbeaten 72 off 47 balls. He was involved in crucial stands with Devon Conway (46 off 38) and Jimmy Neesham (27 off 11). In the penultimate over of the match, Mitchell hit Chris Woakes for two sixes and a four, taking 22 from it and wrapping up the chase.

Pakistan set a 177-run target for Australia. The five-time ODI champions lost key wickets in middle overs just like the Kiwis even as opener David Warner played a 30-ball knock for 49 runs. Then, Marcus Stoinis (40 off 31) and Matthew Wade (41 off 17) stitched an unbeaten 81-run stand to take the team home. In the penultimate over of the chase, Wade hit Shaheen Afridi for three sixes, taking 22 runs from it.

Expect a thriller on Sunday.


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