New Zealand, led by Kane Williamson, will compete against Australia in the Twenty20 World Cup final, which will determine a new winner on Sunday.
In Dubai, New Zealand and Australia renew their trans-Tasman rivalry as both teams seek their first world title in the shortest format.
It’s a hat trick of ICC finals for the once-persistent underdogs of world cricket, who defeated India in the inaugural Test championship in June.
They defeated England in the semi-finals to avenge their defeat in the 2019 World Cup final at Lord’s, where they were defeated on boundary count after a super over.
The Black Caps are excited to take on the Australian challenge in their first-ever T20 World Cup final appearance, according to head coach Gary Stead.
“That’s probably a final that not many people predicted a month or so ago, Australia and New Zealand,” Stead said.
The Kiwis, on the other hand, have suffered an injury setback after wicketkeeper Devon Conway was ruled out due to a broken hand sustained when he punched his bat on his dismissal in the semi-final.
Tim Seifert is set to take over the wicketkeeping duties from Conway, who made 129 runs with an average of just over 32 at the event.
“Obviously, Devon’s departure is significant. He’s been a big part of all of our formats.
“It’s a really strange and disappointing thing to happen,” Williamson admitted. Australia, who have won the 50-over World Cup five times, defeated Pakistan by five wickets in the second semi-final.
On Thursday, Australia was 96-5 and chasing 177 when Marcus Stoinis (41) and Matthew Wade (41) put on an unbeaten 82-run partnership to win by an over.
Wade smashed Pakistan paceman Shaheen Shah Afridi for three straight sixes, including two audacious scoop shots, the last of which flew over fine leg to silence the Pakistan crowd.
‘Piece to the puzzle’
Stoinis stated that winning the T20 World Cup would “mean a bloody lot to us.”
“Obviously, Test cricket and the Ashes are what we grew up watching when we played.” Then there was the transformation of T20 cricket. In terms of pressure, it’s no longer a hit and a giggle,” Stoinis explained.
“Aside from the players and coaching staff, I don’t think many people gave us a chance leading up to this tournament.” So it’s going to mean a lot to us, and we’ll be very proud when we bring it back to Australia.”
The form of opener David Warner, who has scored 236 runs in the tournament, will be crucial.
“Everyone had written us off, but we had a lot of faith in ourselves.”
“I believe we came here with a very clear plan to win the tournament,” Finch said.
“We’ve always felt like we have the depth and quality in our squad to put ourselves in a position to do that.”
Finch recognized the importance of securing the advantage in the first six overs of the powerplay, especially against a potent New Zealand pace attack led by Trent Boult and Tim Southee.
“I think we’ve seen the importance of the powerplay throughout the tournament,” Finch said.
“Many games have been decided by who won the first contest in the power play in both innings.” It will, without a doubt, be a significant challenge.
It will not determine who wins the match, but it will help set up your winnings if you play well.”
Despite the fact that the team batting second has won 11 of the last 12 matches at the Dubai International Stadium, the skipper says he doesn’t “fuss” about the toss and bowling first.