T20 Round-up & Preview by Greg Stewart
What a lead-up to the T20 final we have had with two “under dogs” coming through, beating both group stage winners and tournament favourites England and Pakistan, in spectacular style in the semi-finals.
What remains to see, is the outcome between two deserved finalists New Zealand and Australia. Sporting rivalry between these two fiercely competitive sport crazy neighbours should result in a very entertaining final this Sunday. (Match kicks-off 16H00 SA Time)
The action in the semi-finals showed what a deep batting order and tight bowling figures means in a World-Cup final. New Zealand beat England in the semi-finals, thanks to some late heroics from Jimmy Neesham and Daryl Michell (72 from 47 balls with four 4’s and four 6’s). Likewise, Australia’s Marcus Stonis and Mathew Wade built a tremendous late partnership, with Wade pounding 41 runs off 17 balls with two 4’s and four magnificent 6’s on his score card.
Scoring quickly and scoring boundaries are the winning elements in T20 batting and almost the full batting order in both teams are capable of swinging the willow to devastating effect.
Who will score the highest runs? Good money would be on the likes of Warner, Stoinis or Wade for Australia and Neesham or Michell for New Zealand.
Both teams have shown that they are capable of chasing down big scores, with great batting talent deep down into their batting order and the team batting first may well be the one with a disadvantage in this final that is so finely balanced. Winning the toss could ironically land up being the match decider.
In the bowling department it was disciplined bowling from both teams that helped secure their place in the final. It’s not always wickets that count in T20 but the bowling economy rate is critical. Here Tim Southee and Trent Boult have a big job on their hands to restrict the likes of Warner and Wade. The Australian bowling will depend a lot on Adam Zampa and Glenn Maxwell again to keep their economy rate down to restrict the likes of Michell.
Can Zampa keep his economy rate below 6 runs per over again and squeeze the Black Ferns batting order?
Whatever the result, its likely to be a great clash and with New Zealand’s Wicket Keeper, Devon Conway (scored 46 of 38 balls against England) injured and withdrawn from the team, the pendulum may just have swung Australia’s way.
Top Bets: Australia to win by 5 wickets, Most boundaries – Darryl Michel or Mathew Wade, Best bowling economy – Adam Zampa, Highest batting score of the match Marcus Stoinis.