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T20 World Cup semifinals: India vs. England and New Zealand vs. Pakistan

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ADELAIDE: The Twenty20 World Cup semifinal matches will take place on Wednesday in Sydney with New Zealand taking on Pakistan and Thursday in Adelaide with India taking on England.

Sport examines the teams’ journeys to the final four:

The Black Caps’ 89-run hammering over the tournament’s hosts and defending champions, Australia, set the tone for their campaign thus far.

Their progress was unaffected by a victory over Afghanistan. With his 64-ball 104, Glenn Phillips smashed the second World Cup century, leading them to a crushing victory over Sri Lanka.

Despite struggling to match England’s 180 total, New Zealand recovered to defeat the underdogs Ireland, led by captain Kane Williamson’s quickfire 61.

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson

To demonstrate how dangerous they are, the last year’s lost finalists defeated pre-tournament favourites Australia and England in the tougher of the two Super 12 groups on net run rate.

The defending champions from 2009 had a painful start to their season as they lost a last-ball thriller against India and then suffered an unexpected loss to Zimbabwe.

The fact that they defeated the Netherlands after losing four wickets in their small 92-run chase was barely impressive because they appeared to be doomed.

The Dutch helped them out by shocking South Africa, but Pakistan still managed to defeat South Africa and restore their hopes of making the semi-finals.

Shaheen Shah Afridi, Babar Azam’s team’s pace spearhead, produced career-best figures of 4-22 as they defeated Bangladesh in a game that literally went down to the wire.

Babar Azam Azam, the captain of Pakistan, continues to struggle with his form, scoring just 39 runs in five games.

In order to uphold their status as the tournament favourites, Jos Buttler’s team smashed Afghanistan after destroying the opposition for 112 in their opening match in Perth.

But they found themselves in trouble after a washout against Australia and an unexpected five-run loss to Ireland using the DLS technique.

The Three Lions rallied to defeat the Kiwis, and star all-rounder Ben Stokes, who scored an unbeaten 42, guided them to a nail-biting four-wicket victory over Sri Lanka to advance them to the semifinals.

England captain Jos Buttler

In their victory over New Zealand, Buttler and Alex Hales each scored fifty runs, and pace bowlers Sam Curran, Chris Woakes, and Mark Wood all contributed significantly.

Virat Kohli’s masterclass to surpass Pakistan’s 159 on the penultimate ball ignited the tournament in front of almost 90,000 spectators at a packed Melbourne Cricket Ground.

India captain Rohit Sharma

India lost only once, to South Africa, on their way to the semifinals as table-toppers, and Kohli has shined with three half-centuries to record the most runs scored in tournament history.

Among the runs has been T20 prodigy Suryakumar Yadav, who will be India’s main weapon in their quest to win their first major championship since the 2013 Champions Trophy. Yadav has a tournament strike rate of 193.96.

The 2007 T20 World Cup was won by India, who now project a menacing aura.      

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