Chennai: With the seventh edition of the T20 World Cup coming to an end on Sunday, after 44 matches, New Zealand and Australia — two T20I juggernauts — are aiming to lay hands on the coveted ICC cup. The Kangaroos and the Kiwis were second-placed group teams by end of Super 12 that made it to the semifinals and set up a final date. The Trans-Tasmanian teams locked horns 14 times in the ICC T20Is so far, in that the Aussies have the upper hand with nine wins while Kiwis’ have five victories in their kitty.
Besides, the teams’ magnitude in terms of skill and overall strength, what could play a pivotal role is the toss. Most of the matches played in this tourney at the Dubai International Stadium were decided half an hour even before the first ball was bowled. On this deck, the teams batting first have seldom won the matches. Of the 12 matches played on this deck so far in the showpiece event, 11 times the team chased had the last laugh. Teams winning the toss have more often than not put their rivals to bat first, just to have an advantage of dew.
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The only side to juxtapose the trend was New Zealand. The Black Caps defeated Scotland in a Super 12 group match by meagre 16 runs. Despite playing minnows, Kiwis found it tough to pile up runs and dew being the reason the top order struggled to face the new ball. Dew slows down the pitch while the wet surface outside the 30-yard circle makes it harder for the ball to sail over the fence.
Another factor that had been helping teams win the matches is the Powerplay performances. Piling up good powerplay scores has given teams an edge in this tournament and for that lesser the dew impact better the score in the first six overs was seen. More so, sides that performed better in the powerplay have had the last laugh. Thus, a good show in the powerplay and dew factor go hand-in-hand.
Considering the numbers, of the 32 matches since the inception of Super 12, teams won only two matches who have first opted to bat. The bowlers distinctively have an advantage in the first innings as the new ball slides well with the help of dew that making it tough for batters to judge the pace and swing.
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The grand finale will be a clash of juggernauts as the Kangaroos is the second-highest team with a number of wickets picked up in powerplays while Kiwis are the second most economical team in this tournament. Adam Zampa for Australia has been a brilliant pick in this event as the right-handed leggie is the highest wicket-taker with 12 wickets. The only kickback for the Kiwis is the absence of Devon Conway in the middle order. However, the Black Caps are to enter with five main bowlers making the team strongest in the bowling department.
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