A brutal New Zealand look to cement their semi-final chances with a solid knockout punch on an already struggling Scotland in a Group 2 Super 12 match of the ICC T20 World Cup on Wednesday. Kane Williamson and his troops came back strongly in their next game after losing to Pakistan in their first match of the tournament. They made it to the semi-finals with a scintillating performance beating tournament favorites India by eight wickets. New Zealand need to win their remaining three matches to make it to the last four, so the Black Caps cannot afford to slip away.
They will also be eyeing major wins to improve their net run rate which may come into play later. Having already played with Pakistan and India, they are expected to overtake Scotland and Namibia, while the clash against Afghanistan could be difficult.
The Kiwis have a powerful bowling attack and in both the games, they have shown why their bowlers are rated so highly. Defending a modest 134, he made life difficult for the Pakistan batsmen before suppressing the star-studded Indian line-up.
Spinners Ish Sodhi and Mitchell Santner were sensational against India. In their eight overs, the duo conceded just 32 runs, picking up the crucial wickets of Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli, while the fast bowlers led by star seamer Trent Boult also contributed brilliantly. In the batting department, Daryl Mitchell has played his part as an opener. Along with the experienced Martin Guptill, the two make a formidable pair.
After the failure in the tournament opener, the unit was not tested much against India. However, the biggest concern is about Williamson’s fitness. He is still not 100% and is battling an elbow injury. But resting the captain, a pillar of the New Zealand team, from either match will be a risk the Kiwis may not be ready to take.
Scotland, on the other hand, overcame all their opponents in the qualifiers to enter the Super 12 stage on confidence, but things went awry for the Scots as they suffered consecutive defeats at the hands of Namibia and Afghanistan. Against Afghanistan, they were bowled out for 60 in 10.2 overs and suffered a 130-run defeat.
In their second game, they were better at 109 in 20 overs. But against a top team like New Zealand, he will have to give his better account. Scotland bowled their hearts out against Namibia, but their batsmen failed to score enough runs on the board once again to their downfall.
The batting trio of Richie Berrington, George Munsey and Matthew Cross did well in the qualifying matches, but their batting line-up looked unkempt in the Super 12 stage. The spin trio of Chris Greaves, Mark Watt and Michael Lesk had done well in the previous outing and will look to replicate the performance.
However, it is imperative that their batsmen score runs on the board to play shots in New Zealand. As is the practice, the chasing teams win the match, so the toss will be crucial.
The match will start at 3.30 pm IST.
New Zealand: Kane Williamson (c), Martin Guptill, Daryl Mitchell, Devon Conway, Tim Seifert (wk), James Neesham, Glenn Phillips, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Trent Boult, Tim Southee, Mark Chapman, Adam Milne, Kyle Jamieson, Todd Astle .
Scotland: Kyle Coetzer (Captain), Richie Berrington, Dylan Buzz, Matthew Cross, Josh Davey, Alasdair Evans, Chris Greaves, Michael Leask, Callum McLeod, George Muncy, Safyan Sharif, Hamza Tahir, Craig Wallace, Mark Watt, Bradley Wheel.
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