Injury England battles Kiwis for place in the finals




(Abu Dhabi, UAE)

Injuries to major England players have resulted in the semi-final clash against New Zealand being an even battle at Abu Dhabi on Wednesday evening at 6pm.

England, the number one ranked team in T20 cricket topped group I, winning their first four matches and losing only to South Africa after they had already qualified for the semis. However going into this clash against New Zealand, England will be without opening batter Jason Roy, who became the latest England player to be ruled out of the tournament through injury after pulling up against South Africa in the final Group 1 game. Earlier in the tournament they lost an inform Tymal Mills. Before the tournament started they lost Jofra Archer, Ben Stokes and Sam Curran three top T20 players. Captain of the team Eoin Morgan speaking at a pre-match press conference on Tuesday said: “I wouldn’t say we are strong favourites, because New Zealand has a full-strength squad. We’ve obviously been hampered with a lot of injuries throughout this tournament.

“I think like losing any of your experienced players, you can’t really replace that experience that Jason has. He’s played integral parts in our two previous World Cup campaigns. We are blessed with guys who can bat at the top of the order and actually who want to bat at the top of the order. If you look around, the big-name players all want to bat or are batting in the top three in every team. And we’re lucky that we have guys who queue up and want to bat in that top three, which is great because they want to go head-to-head with the big named players in the tournament and big named bowlers of the opposition.”

The clash is a repeat of the 2016 semi-finals when England played New Zealand in India. The Kiwis lost that clash as England went on to play West Indies in the finals and lost the match because Carlos Brathwaite struck four sixes of four balls off Stokes to give the Caribbean side their second title.

England also defeated New Zealand in the finals of the 2019 ICC 50 overs tournament in the Super Over at Lord’s. The two teams have has close battles in the past and this game is shaping to be similar. Kiwi skipper Kane Williamson is ware of a dangerous England outfit.

“Look, we’ve played each other a number of times. We’ve had some really good games in really good series. The evolution of the England side, and particularly the white-ball side, has been significant over a number of years. They have got a lot of experienced T20 players on their side.

“As a collective, they’re playing some really good cricket. We know it’s a nice challenge that we’re looking forward to. And both teams try and utilize what they have to the best of their ability and try and play their best cricket. This format it’s fickle in its nature and both teams will go out to look to put their best foot forward and what will be will be at the end of it. But for us, it’s been a real growth focus.

“Although, it was like I mentioned, slightly disjointed in terms of preparation at the start. It’s been sort of one game at a time and trying to adapt and make those small improvements throughout the competition as quickly as we could.”

The pitch in Abu Dhabi is again expected to be nice for batting but the team winning the toss is likely to send the opposition in to bat because they would not want to deal with the due factor in the night. The dew factor is becoming more and more an issue as the cool months approaches in the UAE.

Pakistan and Australia will play the second semis on Thursday in Dubai.


England – Eoin Morgan, Moeen Ali, Jonathan Bairstow, Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Tom Curran, Chris Jordan, Liam Livingstone, Dawid Malan, Adil Rashid, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.

New Zealand – Kane Williamson (c), Todd Astle, Trent Boult, Mark Chapman, Devon Conway, Lockie Ferguson, Martin Guptill, Kyle Jamieson, Daryl Mitchell, Jimmy Neesham, Glenn Phillips, Mitchell Santner, Tim Seifert (wk), Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee.

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