WC Semi-Final Line-up: India to Play NZ, Australia to Face England
The semi-final line up for the ongoing Cricket World Cup in England and Wales was finally confirmed on Saturday, 6 July – the last day of the league stage of the competition.
By virtue of the standings on the points table at the end of the league stage – table toppers India will play fourth placed New Zealand in the first semi-final while second placed Australia will face hosts England in the second knock-out match of the tournament.
After India won their last league match against Sri Lanka on Saturday, India moved to the top of the points table with 15 points from 9 matches. India’s promotion saw Australia slipping down to the second position with 14 points as their last league match against South Africa at Old Trafford was still underway.
With Australia losing to South Africa by 10 runs, the table didn’t see any further change as Australia finished the league stage on 14 points from 9 matches. England and New Zealand occupied the third and fourth place with 13 and 11 points respectively on the points table.
Semi-final 1: India vs New Zealand
Team India finished their group stage with a convincing 7-wicket win against Sri Lanka. Now, they will face New Zealand in the first semi-final on Tuesday, 9 July at Old Trafford in Manchester.
Both sides are yet to play each other in the competition since their league encounter on 13 July in Nottingham was washed out without a ball being bowled. Earlier, both sides had meet during the warm-up stages with New Zealand taking the bragging rights with a convincing six-wicket victory.
Interestingly, New Zealand have won all the three games played in England and one back home, while India have registered two home wins and one in South Africa, when the sides met last in 2003.
Semi-final 2: Australia vs England
The second semi-final will see arch-rivals England and Australia square off at Headingly in Birmingham on Thursday, 7 July.
Till date Australia and England have played each other eight times in the World Cup with Australia winning six of them while England managed only two wins.
Hosts England, who are looking for their maiden World Cup success, will look to continue their good run in the semis with back-to back victories against India and New Zealand. Last time England played in the semis of a World Cup was way back in 1992.
Meanwhile, Australia, who eyeing their sixth world title, will like to forget their narrow 10-run loss against South Africa when they meet England on Thursday.