DUBAI: Kane Williamson’s New Zealand eye a second global crown in a single year when they take on Australia at the Twenty20 World Cup final that will witness a new winner on Sunday.
New Zealand and Australia renew their trans-Tasman rivalry in Dubai as both teams look to clinch their maiden world title in the shortest format.
It’s a hat-trick of ICC finals for the once perennial underdogs of world cricket after they outplayed India to win the inaugural Test championship in June.
They beat favourites England in the semi-final to avenge their 2019 defeat in a dramatic 50-over World Cup final at Lord’s when they went down on boundary count after a super over.
The Kiwis though have suffered an injury blow after wicketkeeper Devon Conway was ruled out following a broken hand when he punched his bat on his dismissal in the semi-final.
Jimmy Neesham played a key part in the team’s semi-final win over England as he hit 27 off 11 balls to turn the game on its head and win with an over to spare.
Sunday’s clash will bring back memories of the 2015 50-over final when Australia beat New Zealand by seven wickets to clinch their fifth ODI World Cup.
Aaron Finch’s Australians beat title favourites Pakistan by five wickets in the second semi-final.
Australia were in trouble at 96-5 while chasing 177 on Thursday when Marcus Stoinis (40) and Matthew Wade (41) put on an unbeaten partnership of 82 and win by an over to spare.
Wade smashed Pakistan pace ace Shaheen Shah Afridi for three straight sixes including two audacious scoop shots – the final one sailing over fine leg to silence the Pakistan crowd.
Key will be the form of opener David Warner who has plundered 236 runs at the tournament.