New Zealand, cricket’s quiet achiever, and Pakistan, the game’s most unpredictable side, clash in the opening Twenty20 World Cup semifinal on Wednesday after making their way to the knockout rounds by starkly contrasting paths.
The Black Caps hammered host and champion Australia in their tournament opener, had a match washed out and lost a high-quality contest to England before reaching a fifth successive white-ball World Cup semifinal as group winner.
Pakistan’s journey started with a remarkable loss to India in front of 92,000 fans at Melbourne Cricket Ground which was followed by an equally dramatic upset at the hands of Zimbabwe and a rain-disrupted win over South Africa.
It scraped into the last four by beating Bangladesh but only after a stunning upset of South Africa by the Dutch in the final round of group matches had cleared the path.
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