Confident England Hoping To Dent NZ's Semifinal HopesAlmost certain of a last four spot with consecutive wins, a buoyant England will be gunning for a hat-trick of victory while New Zealand face a do-or-die situation in their last Group E Super Eight
Almost certain of a last four spot with consecutive wins, a buoyant England will be gunning for a hat-trick of victory while New Zealand face a do-or-die situation in their last Group E Super Eight stage match of the Twenty20 World Cup in Gros Islet (St Lucia), on Monday .
With victories over Pakistan and South Africa in their second round matches, England are virtually through to the semifinals and Paul Collingwood's men would be hoping to complete a hat-trick of victories tomorrow.
Their fine form notwithstanding, it, however, would be far from a cakewalk for the English side as New Zealand have put behind their 13-run loss against South Africa and eked out a thrilling one run win over Pakistan to put their campaign back on track.
New Zealand would seek to carry on the momentum against England to keep themselves in the semifinal hunt and shed their choker's tag. Incidentally, the Kiwis' cause could be helped by in-form Kevin Pietersen's absence in the English ranks tomorrow.
England would badly miss Pietersen after the right-hander took a break from the tournament to be with his pregnant wife Jessica as the couple prepares for their first child.
Pietersen has been in sparkling form in the tournament, scoring an unbeaten 70 in England's win over Pakistan and made a blistering 53 yesterday against South Africa.
England have an dependable opening pair in Michael Lumb and Craig Kieswetter, who have so far given solid starts to their innings.
Especially with Pietersen away, captain Paul Collingwood would expect yet another good showing from his openers.
England would also be looking towards Collingwood, Eoin Morgan and Luke Wright to deliver the goods in Pietersen's absence and make their presence felt in the team. England's bowling has been impressive so far in the tournament.
Ryan Sidebottom and Stuart Broad have been successful with the new ball while Michael Yardy and Graeme Swann chipped in with wickets with their spinners.
New Zealand, on the other hand, do have problems to deal with as their batting line up is brittle and rely too much on a few power-hitters.
So far, New Zealand's all three wins -- two in the preliminary stage -- were close. Their batting rely heavily on Brendon McCullum, who showed signs of returning to form during his 29-ball 33 yesterday.
On the bowling front, Ian Butler and Kyle Mills have been welcome inclusion in the pace department which also has Shane Bond, while the spin attack is in the safe hands of skipper Daniel Vettori and Nathan McCullum. PTI