Euro 2020 Special

New Zealand v Pakistan World Cup Semi-Final Preview: Can the Comeback Kings Make the Final?

New Zealand will play Pakistan in the first semi-final of the 2022 World Cup in Sydney on November 9th. The match is scheduled to begin at 7 pm local time.

It features two teams who have never won the tournament before, although New Zealand were beaten finalists last year, losing to Australia.


The weather

Rain has already had a significant impact on this tournament so far, and the forecast for Sydney is not good for Wednesday, with rain a strong possibility. Fortunately, the ICC has made provision by allowing for a reserve day for the semi-final and the final itself. The outcome of the match will be decided on the pitch and not by any arbitrary decision.


Is this the Black Caps year?

New Zealand have yet to win a World Cup, although they have been beaten in the last two finals, with that defeat in Dubai last year, ranking alongside their loss to England at Lord’s in 2019 in the longer white ball version.

However, the reigning World Test Champions have genuine hope that this could finally be their year.

Not that initial omens were all that auspicious after they were thrashed by South Africa in a warm-up game.

However, when they beat Australia, the hosts and defending champions comprehensively in their first game of the tournament, people began to take notice. Their following match with Afghanistan was a victim of the Australian weather, but a routine win over Sri Lanka all but confirmed their semi-final place.

Defeat to England was a reality check, but, despite a hat-trick from Josh Little, they managed to avoid the potential banana skin that was Ireland, topping the group, and with a far superior Net Run Rate into the bargain.


Pakistan under the radar

When Pakistan lost their first two games in Australia – off the last ball against India and by a single run to Zimbabwe – even their most fanatical of supporters thought that their World Cup was over.

Even when they beat Bangladesh and South Africa that did not look like being enough, with the South Africans just needing to beat the Netherlands to secure their semi-final place.

But with the Pakistan team and a number of their fans watching in Adelaide, South Africa folded under the pressure and lost by 13 runs opening the door to Pakistan, if they could beat Bangladesh on the same ground a few days later.

That they duly did by five wickets, and, although they may have sneaked in via the backdoor, they must now be considered a real threat. Often those who win major competitions are not those who start the best, but those who finish strongly.

Momentum is on their side.


Head to head

The pair have played each other 28 times before in T20I matches and Pakistan have won 17 matches to 11 by New Zealand.

Significantly perhaps, three of those meetings occurred in a tri-nation series on the eve of the tournament that also featured Bangladesh. Pakistan won by 5 wickets in Christchurch, but then New Zealand defeated them by 9 wickets on the same ground.

They met each other in the final once more, with Pakistan winning by 7 wickets in the final.

In terms of the World Cup, there have been six previous matches between the two sides, and again, they have the upper hand. They won by 6 wickets in 2007, 6 wickets two years later, and by 23 runs in 2012.

New Zealand’s first victory was by 1 run in 2010, and then by 22 runs in 2016.

Their most recent match was in the World Cup last year in Sharjah, Pakistan winning by 5 wickets.

Despite that loss, New Zealand still reached the final.

Predicted teams

Neither camps have any significant injuries and are expected to field the same team as in their last match.



Although the two teams reached the semi-finals in vastly different fashion, they start the match on equal terms, and Pakistan might just consider that they hold the edge psychologically. They have the better head-to-head record overall, and in terms of World Cup, and also had the upper hand in their recent tri-nation series.

They may also consider that they now have the wind in their sails, having recovered from a difficult start.




Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.