The two teams that were seen as the semi-finalist from the easier group of the tournament will now face each other in the knockout game to decide the semifinalist along with South Africa from the group. The winner of the match automatically qualifies to the next round as group leaders and would face the second placed team of group 2.
Sri Lanka seemed to be the team with the best bowling attack in the tournament, and was cruising on their way to the semis when they were crushed by arguably the best innings of the tournament so far. The Lanka spinners were proving to be a headache for most of the teams, when suddenly and dew and “Hales” proved to be their undoing and now doubt persist of their effectiveness in moist conditions. They will heavily depend on the magic of Lasith Malinga to get them through in the bowling department, as he is the only bowler who can be trusted in such conditions to lead the bowling side.
The batting on the other hand looks far more settled after the return of form of veterans Mahela Jayawardene and Tillakratne Dilshan in the previous game. Kushal Perera and Kumar Sangakara have failed in the last couple of games, but they have even in great form in the recent past and they can strike big in the all important game.
New Zealand on the other hand has clearly added cover to their seam bowling department with the addition of James Neesham and Trent Boult to their ranks. Nathan McCullum is their only reliable spinner in the team, and the dew seems to pose minimum problems to the canny off spinner. The range of all rounder in the team provides them with extra options to play with. On paper they look the most balanced side in the tournament, it’s about time that they show their worth in practice.
Kane Williamson. Brendon McCullum and Ross Taylor all have looked in formidable touch in the past games. Corey Anderson and James Neesham are also batsmen who can play the big shot on will. Corey Anderson specially needs to live up to his hype, which he created after scoring the fastest century in one day cricket. The only game New Zealand lost was because of one of the most aggressive spells ever in the shorter format by Dale Steyn. The team looks well in place in the big tournament, and this might just prove to be the ICC tournament, when New Zealand finally shines.
Check the T20 World Cup 2014 Schedule: Match Time Table & Fixture Details here
For ICC World Twenty20 2014 Points Table, Match Results and Team Standings click here