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The T20 World Cup semi finals are here, starting with a blockbuster between New Zealand and Pakistan at the SCG.

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson won the toss and elected to bat first.

Neither the Kiwis or Pakistan have made any changes to their XIs.

Pakistan has played three World Cup semi finals against New Zealand while chasing and won every time.

“In semi finals, the kryptonite for New Zealand is Pakistan,” Bazid Khan said in commentary.

Follow all the action in our live blog below!

It’s crunch time at the T20 World Cup and you can catch every match live and ad-free in play on Kayo. New to Kayo? Start your free trial now >

MATCH CENTRE: New Zealand vs Pakistan, live scoreboard, stats

New Zealand is 3-81 after 12 overs.

The first over from Shaheen Shah Afridi was a dramatic one. Having been crunched for four on his first ball, the next two balls saw umpire Marais Erasmus’ finger go up.

The first proved to be a shocking lbw call. Erasmus took an eternity to fire Finn Allen and when he eventually did, a hasty review revealed a massive inside edge.

But the very next ball was a near carbon copy — the only thing missing this time was the inside edge and Afridi had his man inside the first over.

Allen’s opening partner Devon Conway made 21 off 20 balls before he was brilliantly runout by Shadab Khan at the end of the sixth over.

Simon Doull wasn’t impressed with Conway’s lack of a dive.

“If you want to preserve your wicket, you should be diving,” he said. “You’ll see Glenn Phillips diving I’m sure if there is any chance of being run out. If Conway dives, I think he’s on. He’s only out by six or eight inches.

“If you really put a price on your wicket, the dive has to be a part of the game and every batter needs to produce it.”

That brought Glenn Phillips to the crease but he didn’t last long, as he chipped a return catch to Moammad Nawaz for six off eight.


It’s crunch time at the T20 World Cup and you can catch every match live and ad-free in play on Kayo. New to Kayo? Start your free trial now >


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

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


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Pakistan’s best is yet to come and struggling skipper Babar Azam is due “something very special” in their T20 World Cup semi-final against New Zealand on Wednesday (7pm AEDT), team mentor Matthew Hayden warned.

The 2009 champions only scraped into the knockouts when the Netherlands unexpectedly defeated South Africa and Pakistan then beat Bangladesh to secure their second successive last-four berth.

Former Australia opener Hayden, who was batting coach for Pakistan at the last World Cup and appointed team mentor for this edition, said they planned to make the most of their second chance.

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“When the Netherlands beat South Africa it was a significant moment for us, a very significant moment for the team in general around reaching its potential,” he said on the eve of the semi-final in Sydney.

“Lots of prayers as Pakistan woke up to see that result, 232 million people can’t be wrong, and as a result of that I feel there has been very much an uplift in tempo in our group.

“It has been a rollercoaster… but I really believe we have yet to play our best game, which is a huge threat to oppositions.”

While Pakistan’s bowling, led by Shaheen Shah Afridi, has been improving, their batting has been fragile, a concern against a top-class New Zealand attack led by Tim Southee, Trent Boult and Lockie Ferguson.

Azam’s form in particular remains a worry with the opener managing just 39 runs in five matches.

Williamson keen on Pakistan challenge | 02:43

Hayden, himself a destructive opener who played 103 Tests and 161 ODIs, said the skipper was due some “fireworks” — and predicted they could come on Wednesday.

“There’s no question Babar has been under some adversity but that will only make him an even greater player,” he said.

“We know with the weather that when there’s a lull, there’s often a storm that follows, so look out rest of the world because I think we’re about to see something very special from Babar.” New Zealand have long been a force in white-ball cricket, but have failed to turn that into world titles, including falling at the final hurdle to Australia in 2021.

– Play smart –

They started their World Cup campaign this year with a massive 89-run win against the defending champions, also in Sydney, and Hayden said Pakistan were wary of the Black Caps.

“They got 200 on this particular wicket against Australia… New Zealand have some really destructive players and they can put you under pressure with the bat,” he said.

“They’ve also got a terrific, well-balanced bowling attack.

“Like New Zealand sport in general, they really punch above their weight, they believe they can win this tournament and they have the potential to do that.

“So lots of threats to our camp, no question.”

New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson played down any significance in his team making 200-3 on the Sydney wicket, noting that they only managed 167-7 against Sri Lanka when they returned to the ground later in the tournament.

Babar Azam is due “something very special” Matthew Hayden says.
Babar Azam is due “something very special” Matthew Hayden says.Source: Getty Images

“The first game we played here the wicket was a very good one and then the second time it had changed,” he said.

“We’ll just be looking to focus on our cricket really and the plans that we are looking to execute and make sure we adjust to the conditions and try and play smart.”

New Zealand followed up that first Sydney win with a six-wicket victory over Sri Lanka, with a washed-out game against Afghanistan in between. They lost by 20 runs to England before hammering Ireland to secure a semi-final place.

Williamson said the results counted for little when it came to the knockouts. “Finals sport can go any way,” he said. “Both teams match up pretty well, there’s some similar trends, we’ve both been playing some good cricket.

“They’ve got an outstanding pace attack,” he added. “Some really experienced players throughout their side, match winners, so real strength in their team.”


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