Pakistan will be up against New Zealand in Wednesday's first semi-final clash of the ICC T20 World Cup 2022.

Pakistan will be up against New Zealand in Wednesday’s first semi-final clash of the ICC T20 World Cup 2022. After winning their last three Super 12 Group 2 games, Pakistan reached the semis. Post defeats against India and Zimbabwe, the Babar Azam-led side overcame the Netherlands, South Africa, and Bangladesh. Pakistan were also helped by the fact that the Netherlands stunned SA in their final Super 12 game, which tilted the favor. Pakistan finished second behind India. On the other hand, New Zealand topped the Super 12 Group 1, finishing above second-placed England. New Zealand played an entertaining brand of cricket, and overall, Kane Williamson’s men showed once again why they are a force to be reckoned with in ICC tournaments.

Can Pakistan continue its resurgence?

Pakistan will feel confident about how they collected crucial wins and got the job done. Their tri-series win against the Kiwis before the World Cup will serve as another booster, knowing they can come out on top. Batting remains a bit of an issue for Pakistan especially given the inconsistency shown time and time again. Babar Azam has failed in this World Cup, and this is the time when his side will need runs from his willow. Mohammad Haris has been a top-notch customer since coming in. His fiery knock can unsettle the Kiwis. Shan Masood remains a vital asset in terms of patience and ability to rotate the strike. Bowling-wise, Pakistan boast of a terrific line-up led by Shaheen Afridi. Naseem Shah, Haris Rauf, and Shadab Khan are quality names in the ranks. Pakistan will want to keep NZ at bay with their collective bowling approach.

New Zealand will seek an assured performance

Kane Williamson will lead the line for New Zealand, and his terrific fifty in the final group game was something to cherish versus Ireland. Glenn Phillips has been among the runs for NZ. He is NZ’s top scorer in the tournament. Finn Allen and Daryl Mitchell promise fireworks aplenty. New Zealand will have to negotiate Pakistan’s offerings, which won’t be easy. NZ boast of a superb bowling line-up as well. Tim Southee and Trent Boult carry the onus upfront. Lockie Ferguson can be quick and dangerous. Not to forget the spin twins in Ish Sodhi and Mitchell Santner. Both can curb Pakistan’s flow of runs besides claiming wickets.

An intriguing game may see Pakistan come out on top

Pakistan and New Zealand’s match is expected to go down the wire, given the quality. However, Pakistan may have that extra bit to surprise the Kiwis, especially with their bowling unit. Bowlers may win Pakistan the match and we pick them as the predicted winners. 

Pakistan have the edge over NZ (H2H)

Regarding the H2H record, Pakistan have an edge over New Zealand. In 28 meetings, Pakistan have bagged 17 wins to NZ’s 11.

Key details about the pitch, timing, and TV listing

The pitch at the Sydney Cricket Ground will assist batting. The average score in the first innings here is 168. So anything around the 170-175-run mark will be a challenging score. NZ have already beaten Australia and Sri Lanka in this venue. Pakistan have overcome the Proteas here. So there will be positive feelings.

One can watch the India vs Zimbabwe encounter live on the Star Sports Network and stream the same on Hotstar (paid). The match will start at 1:30 PM IST.

Predicted Playing XI of PAK

Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, Shan Masood, Mohammad Haris, Mohammad Nawaz, Ifthikar Ahmed, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Wasim, Haris Rauf, Shaheen Afridi, Naseem Shah

Predicted Playing XI of New Zealand

Devon Conway, Finn Allen, Kane Williamson, Glenn Phillips, Daryl Mitchell, James Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Southee, Boult, Ish Sodhi, Lockie Ferguson

Batting records that can be attained in this match

Babar is four fours shy of 350 in the format (346). Rizwan has scored 924 runs in 2022 and can become the second player after Suryakumar Yadav to amass 950-plus runs. Mitchell (713) can become NZ’s 8th-highest scorer by overcoming Seifert’s tally of 753. Glenn Phillips (1289) can overcome Jonny Bairstow’s tally of 1337 runs.

Bowling records that can be attained in this match

Shadab has claimed 97 scalps and is three shy of 100. He is in line to surpass Shahid Afridi (98), besides becoming the sixth bowler with 100-plus scalps. Santner (88) and Boult can surpass Chris Jordan and Adil Rashid (90 each). Boult (72) is 3 shy of 75 scalps in the format for NZ. Afridi (55) can go past Kagiso Rabada’s mark of 56 scalps.

Dream11 Fantasy Option 1

Batters: Finn Allen, Glenn Phillips, Kane Williamson, Mohammad Haris, Shan Masood, Mohammad Rizwan

All-rounders: Shadab Khan

Bowlers: Southee, Ish Sodhi, Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf

Dream11 Fantasy Option 2

Batters: Devon Conway, Glenn Phillips, Kane Williamson, Mohammad Haris, Ifthikar Ahmed, Mohammad Rizwan

All-rounders: Shadab Khan

Bowlers: Boult, Ish Sodhi, Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf

Dream11 Fantasy XI: Ideal captaincy choices

Glenn Phillips: He is the highest run-scorer for the Kiwis in the ongoing tourney, having amassed 196 runs which include a ton. He will want to lead NZ’s batting in the middle-order. Phillips is an aggressive player and has established himself in the side.

Shadab Khan: With 10 wickets already in the tournament, Shadab has shown his value as Pakistan’s leading spinner. He is also 3 shy of 100 scalps, which tells the story of his rise in the format. Shadab can score some decent runs as well to bolster Pakistan’s ranks.

Dream11 fantasy: Ideal vice-captaincy choices

Shaheen Afridi: He was at his absolute best versus Bangladesh, and that four-wicket haul will serve him well. Shaheen can disrupt the NZ top-order with his pace, swing, and yorkers. He has claimed 8 scalps in the tournament so far.

Ish Sodhi: A champion performer and a leading spinner, Sodhi has been an underrated customer. He has picked up 109 scalps in the format at 21.96. His exploits in the middle overs will test Pakistan. So far, he has six scalps in the ongoing tourney.

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