T20 World Cup; Semi-finalists confirmed: Meet the four teams

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The semi-finalists for the T20 World Cup have been locked in. Here, we break down the four teams.

Pakistan, England and Australia had all booked their spots in the semi-finals by Saturday night. With their victory over Afghanistan on Sunday, New Zealand locked down the fourth berth. The win took them to eight points, putting them out of reach of India, who can finish on a maximum of six points if they beat Namibia in the final match of the Super 12 stage on Monday.

With Pakistan still to play Scotland, the semi-final match-ups are yet to be finalised. Here, we look at the four teams that have made the knockout stage of the tournament.



Position: First

Semi-final opponents:* To be confirmed

Their road to the semi-final

England got their campaign off in spectacular fashion, bowling West Indies out for 55 and chasing it down in just 8.2 overs for a crushing first win that ultimately made the difference in net run rate as they went through at the top of their group. Moeen Ali set up the win with two early wickets, but it was his fellow spinner Adil Rashid who returned the pick of the figures – four wickets for two runs in 2.2 overs.

Bangladesh were the next to fall foul of the England juggernaut, with Ali again in the wickets before Jason Roy hit a quickfire 61 in an easy chase. And Jos Buttler’s blistering 71 made astonishingly short work of a chase of 126 against Australia, with England reaching it in just 11.4 overs.

The huge NRR advantage set up by that trio of crushing wins gave England a huge chance of progressing as they went into the final two matches of their Super 12 campaign. But they were made to work hard in Sharjah, with Sri Lanka pushing them close despite Buttler’s brilliant century.

Defeat to South Africa in the final group game ultimately didn’t cost England top spot, despite both teams and Australia all finishing tied on eight points, with that positive NRR doing its job in the end.

Star performers

Jos Buttler – The tournament’s top-scorer has been the obvious star for England through the Super 12 stage. His century against Sri Lanka was the highlight of course, but over five matches Buttler has scored 240 runs at an average of 120.00 and a strike-rate of 155.84. Those are astonishing numbers.

Chris Jordan – The form of England’s experienced death-over specialist was a big concern coming into the tournament. Jordan had been extremely expensive in an England shirt for some time and would have been at severe risk of being dropped had injuries not begun to mount up. But Jordan’s returns have been excellent, especially in those overs at the end of the innings. If the 33-year-old can deliver at the business end it makes England’s attack a far more stable unit.


Position: Second

Semi-final opponents: To be confirmed

Road to the semi-finals

The final-over victory over South Africa at the start of the Super 12 stage felt like an important result at the time, and so it proved, with the five-wicket win proving pivotal.

Sri Lanka were rather comfortably dispatched in match two by Aaron Finch’s side, with David Warner and the skipper impressing with the bat.

But a crushing loss to England third up really put the pressure on Australia in the qualification race. It wasn’t just that it was an eight-wicket defeat that hurt, but that England chased down 126 with 50 balls remaining, severely impacting the net run rate situation going into the final two rounds.

Thankfully, from an Australian perspective, that NRR damage was short-lived as they bowled Bangladesh out for 73 next up. The fact that Finch, Warner and Marsh chased it down in just 38 balls more than made up for the run rate losses to England.

And another eight-wicket win over West Indies on the final day ultimately proved enough.

Qualification wasn’t confirmed even after that fourth win, with South Africa a chance of progressing if secured a win and a significant but gettable run-rate swing against England. But while the Proteas got the victory, they didn’t overturn the NRR difference, with Australia going through in second place to line up a semi-final.

Star Performers

Adam Zampa – Only Sri Lanka’s Wanindu Hasaranga has taken more wickets than Australia’s x-factor spinner, and Zampa’s threat – particularly through the middle overs – is a real boost to the attack. The quality of Australia’s seam attack is clear for all to see, but add in some real wicket-taking spin overs and it gives opponents something to think about. England made it clear how much of a threat Zampa is by their intent to take him down.

David Warner – 187 runs at an average of 46.75 is a much-improved return for a batter who had struggled for runs in T20 matches of late. Warner himself says that lack of runs comes from a lack of opportunities. But having him in form at the top of the order can only be a good thing for the Australians.



Position: To be confirmed

Semi-final opponents: To be confirmed

Road to the semi-finals

The tone for Pakistan’s campaign was set in their very first over of the competition. Shaheen Afridi had visualised getting India’s top three batters out, and checked off two of those wickets in his first spell where he was near unplayable. Rohit Sharma was trapped lbw by a yorker, while KL Rahul was bowled by one coming into him. He then returned to have Virat Kohli caught behind just when the India skipper was getting ready to hit out at the death.

After a strong bowling performance to keep India to 151/7, Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan chased down the target with an unbroken opening stand.

Azam had kept emotions in check to remind fans and his team that this was just the start for Pakistan. And it gave them the perfect platform from which to take off.

Against New Zealand, after they chose to bowl, Haris Rauf bowled with pace and fire. One of his yorkers hit 149kph on the speed gun and he finished with four wickets – though curiously many of them coming with his slower variation. With the bowlers all doing their bit, Pakistan restricted New Zealand to 134/8.

This time, the chase was trickier. At 87/5 in the 15th over, New Zealand were well in the game, but Asif Ali played the finisher’s role to perfection, smashing three sixes in his 12-ball 27* to seal the game.

Ali was the star of the chase against Afghanistan too. Naveen-ul-Haq had bowled an excellent 18th over, which went for just two runs, leaving Pakistan 24 to get off the last two overs. Thanks to Ali, they needed just one of those: He smashed four sixes off Karim Janat to complete a chase of 148 to seal their third win in a row.

Earlier in that game, Azam had made his second fifty of the tournament.

His third came against Namibia, with the Azam-Rizwan pair again on song. Choosing to bat this time, they played out a maiden opening over, and got to a steady 59 in 10 overs. But then they stepped on the accelerator, and how. The final 10 overs went for 130 runs, with all of Azam, Rizwan and Hafeez punishing the Namibian bowling.

To their credit, Namibia offered stern resistance but there would be no denying Azam’s team the first spot in the semi-finals.

Star performers

Mohammad Rizwan – Rizwan has barely put a foot wrong for Pakistan at the T20 World Cup and he has the average to show for it – 99.50. The opening batter and star keeper has notched two half-centuries so far, with the first coming against India and the second against Namibia.

He’s Pakistan’s leading run-scorer so far, but only just, pipping Azam by one run to this point.

Shaheen Shah Afridi – Pakistan’s star opening bowler has been too hot to handle throughout the tournament, with his opening spell against India (3/31) setting the tone for the brand of cricket his team has played throughout.

Dangerous with the new ball and canny at the death, if he carries on his form then Pakistan are a match for any side.


Position: To be confirmed

Semi-final opponents: To be confirmed

Road to semi-finals

New Zealand’s T20 World Cup campaign got off to the rockiest of starts when they were defeated by five wickets by Pakistan in their opening match. Just as when Pakistan beat India, the nature of the loss raised question marks over New Zealand’s credentials as contenders.

They quickly put those questions to bed by trouncing India by eight wickets as their all-star attack dismantled a highly vaunted batting order. It was Trent Boult who did the majority of the damage as India were restricted to just 110, and the Kiwis chased it down with five and a half overs remaining

Scotland pushed them in their third match, coming within 16 runs of chasing down a target of 172 and there was a scare against Namibia too, but by the time the Black Caps reached their final group match, they

And they made no mistake against Afghanistan to once again seal their spot in the finals of an ICC event. It was Boult and Tim Southee who did much of the damage to restrict Afghanistan to 124/8, and the chase was conservative but comfortable.

Star performers

Martin Guptill – The veteran opener has once again been New Zealand’s Mr Reliable in the format, with his brutal 93 off 56 against Scotland proving a crucial performance given how tight that match looked at times. His 28 against Afghanistan set up New Zealand’s chase in exactly the manner required, and all opponents will eye the opening batter as one of the big threats in this Black Caps team. Unsurprisingly he finishes the Super 12 stage as the team’s highest run-scorer.

Trent Boult – New Zealand’s star fast bowler has been humming at the showpiece event, proving both dangerous and economic. His 3/20 against India set New Zealand on a path that would see them win four matches on the bounce to reach the semi-finals, and he’s delivered a consistent quality throughout the Super 12 stage. (AGENCIES)

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