TWENTY20 WORLD CUP SEMI-FINALS
England v New Zealand in Abu Dhabi (1am AEDT, Thurs)
England remain tournament favourites in the assessment of bookmakers despite losing their final pool game to South Africa. Eoin Morgan’s side will likely need to rejig their batting order because of the calf injury that Jason Roy suffered in the last-start defeat. New Zealand have put together a four-match winning streak since dropping their opening game of the tournament.
Head to head (T20): Eng 12 wins, NZ 7 wins, 1 tie, 1 no-result.
Head to head (T20 World Cup): Eng 3 wins, NZ 2 wins.
KEY QUESTION: Who can stop Jos Butter? If the opener, having scored 240 runs at 120 this tournament, gets going then it is likely to lead to a match-winning total. The Englishman’s duel with quicks Trent Boult, Tim Southee and Adam Milne could set the tone for the contest.
Pakistan v Australia in Dubai (1am AEDT, Fri)
Australia have salvaged their campaign with resounding wins over Bangladesh and West Indies, bouncing back from an embarrassing loss to England at this ground. Babar Azam’s side represent a far more challenging test, having rolled out an unchanged XI throughout an undefeated charge to the finals.
KEY QUESTION: How will Australia’s ‘fifth bowler’ fare? Coach Justin Langer is likely to stick with the same team that recorded four group-stage wins, meaning four specialist bowlers. Glenn Maxwell, Mitch Marsh and Marcus Stoinis would need to deliver a combined four overs; the trio are certain to be targeted by an in-form opposition.
Head to head (T20): Pak 12 wins, Aus 9 wins, 1 tie, 1 no-result.
Head to head (T20 World Cup): Pak 3 wins, Aus 3 wins.