Afridi breaks the stand! Slower one from Afridi, KW shuffles across to scoop but exposes his stumps. The furniture is disturbed, the bail goes flying over the keeper’s head. KW departs for 46 off 42.
Googly from Shadab, but Daryl Mitchell is quick to spot. Steps out and smacks this one down the ground, over long-off. Six, and half-century of his stand with KW.
Drinks break: NZ 59/3
Pakistan would definitely be the happier side at this time. The dangerous openers and the in-form Phillips gone without causing any major damage, and Pakistan’s ground fielding has been excellent too! NZ were 54/3 at the halfway mark against SL at the same venue in the league phase. They hit 113 off the last ten overs to finish on 167/7. Can they do the same tonight? We’ll find out shortly…
Caught and bowled, and Nawaz has struck with the last ball of his opening over. Nawaz is pumped, and Babar is extra pumped. Glenn Phillips was the man in form for New Zealand. This is a big, big wicket for Pakistan!
Bullseye! Shadab’s nailed the direct hit at the non-striker’s end. Was always a risky single this. Conway pays the price. Called for it the moment he drove the ball to mid-off.
Afridi is hit straight down the ground by Allen for a first ball four, and then denied a LBW call on review because there’s a big inside edge. But he has his man on the third ball! Allen reviews again but three reds and no bat involved means he’s to walk back this time. Marais Erasmus does a fist bump on getting this one right! NZ lose their first wicket, and review. Dramatic opening over to begin with.
Right then, all set. Finn Allen on strike, Afridi has the ball.
Ready for the national anthems.
New Zealand:Finn Allen, Devon Conway(w), Kane Williamson(c), Glenn Phillips, Daryl Mitchell, James Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi, Lockie Ferguson, Trent Boult
Pakistan: Mohammad Rizwan(w), Babar Azam(c), Mohammad Haris, Shan Masood, Iftikhar Ahmed, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Wasim Jr, Naseem Shah, Haris Rauf, Shaheen Afridi
Both teams are unchanged for the key clash.
TOSS: New Zealand opt to bat first
Toss in 5. Stay tuned!
FUN FACT:Six out of seven games have been won by teams batting first here at the SCG.
While we wait for the toss…
No fast bowler at the T20 World Cup has played for as long, no bowler has taken as many T20I wickets as Tim Southee, so how is it that the ageing fast bowler manages to stay a step ahead of what he himself believes is a young person’s game? Ganesh gets the veteran pacer talking…
Welcome to our 1st semifinal live blog.
New Zealand return to the SCG, where they’ve had some very good memories this tournament. They stunned the locals on the opening night of Super 12s itself when they thumped defending champions Australia by 89 runs, and baring their defeat against England, they were always comfortably placed to grab a semis spot.
It’s their opponents tonight, Pakistan, who’ve had quite a turnaround and a bit of luck. They lost to India, or Kohli’s manic knock, in their tournament opener and then to Zimbabwe by the barest of margins. From there on, every game was a knockout and they won every and now hoping for some luck. South Africa choked at the last step, giving them a backdoor entry and they grabbed it, beating Bangladesh to seal their semis spot. And at a time when their famed opening pair isn’t exactly clicking every game, their middle-order has put its hand up extraordinarily well. Such a team is always a threat – as their mentor Matthew Hayden pointed out yesterday. So, tonight is Pakistan’s passion vs New Zealand’s canniness. Here’s the preview by Telford Vice.
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