Published: Wed, July 03, 2019
Sports | By Phillip Butler

Dented New Zealand chase semi-final passage against resurgent Australia at Lord's

Dented New Zealand chase semi-final passage against resurgent Australia at Lord's

Every sports team has a tag attached to it - a word or a phrase that condenses the history of that team or the way they play. Pakistan went on to beat New Zealand for the second time in the tournament with a four-wicket win in the semifinals in Auckland before defeating England in the final to win the title.

It will not be a "friendly neighbourhood" today at the Cricket World Cup with Pakistan taking on Afghanistan at Headingley and New Zealand squaring off against Tasman-rivals Australia at Lord's on Saturday.

England lost a tightly-contested T20 series 2-1 to India a year ago, before beating them by the same scoreline in the ODIs that followed. Sri Lanka are also in the hunt, one point behind but with a game in hand, meaning 1992 winners Pakistan must still rely on other results going in their favour to qualify from the 10-team group phase. Unfortunately for them, those games are against India and New Zealand-two of the teams above them in the table. And in case England wins all its three games, it will be sharing 12 points with Sri Lanka.

"We win two games, we definitely go through".

Pakistan at [5.0] are seen as the side most likely to gate-crash the semi-final party at England's expense.

Nasser Hussain, in another post, wrote, "I put this tweet out yesterday as I bit of a cheeky joke. half expecting a lot of anger and aggression. actually what we got was a lot of love and humour".

Hosts England started the tournament as favourites, yet they are now in serious danger of an early exit, having lost successive matches against Sri Lanka and Australia. "When playing Australia, David Warner didn't play at all", he added.

"It's tough to compare different times [but] I know the last one was quite an aggressive World Cup on the field, mainly from us", Finch said.

Hence, it can also be assumed that Pak fans want India to win the England encounter, exclusively because that will add to their own chances of qualifying to the knockouts.

Roy is said to be making "good progress" by the England and Wales Cricket Board, but he will take part in both practice days before any verdict is reached. With the warmest day of the World Cup expected, both teams will be pushed harder.

Kane Williamson, New Zealand's captain, echoed the sentiments about the crowd, and looked forward to sampling a different vibe at Lord's from the one that he has been used to on his previous visits.

As he did against Sri Lanka, Ben Stokes was the only England batsman to stand up and be counted, departing for 89.

Should England slip up, Pakistan are poised to pounce. Not surprisingly he has played part in all three of the wins against South Africa, West Indies and Afghanistan.

They have lost a wicket in the opening powerplay in just one match, and average a tournament-high 52 runs per match.

Bizarrely, even though the Black Caps are just [1.02] to make the semis, they're far bigger than England to actually win it, at [7.4].

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