England fear another washout in must-win T20 World Cup match against New Zealand

Abandoned game in Brisbane on Tuesday will make it difficult for Three Lions to advance to semi-finals

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The stakes will be very high when New Zealand face England at the T20 World Cup in Brisbane on Tuesday.

New Zealand have been in top form and can become the first team to reach the semi-finals with victory at the Gabba. England, on the other hand, can't afford any slip up now after suffering a shock defeat to Ireland on the DLS method after a rain-interrupted match in Melbourne, before their match with hosts Australia at the same venue was also washed out.

With so much riding on the game, the weather could once again have the final say. There is 100 per cent chance of rain in Brisbane on Tuesday.

If the weather does not relent and it turns out to be another washout, England will then be able to finish on a maximum of six points in Group 1 provided they beat Sri Lanka in their final game on Saturday – a tally that is not guaranteed to secure qualification for the semi-finals.

"It would be nice to get the full 40 overs in, so keep our fingers crossed that we get the right conditions to be able to do that," England assistant coach Paul Collingwood said.

"In World Cups you want to see the best sides competing against each other in an equal game. Hopefully tomorrow the rain stays away and we can manage to do that."

Anything less than victory against New Zealand will leave England dependent on beating Sri Lanka in Sydney and hoping other results go their way.

"Tomorrow kickstarts hopefully our momentum and our campaign," said Collingwood. "We put in a good performance tomorrow and that will give us a lot of confidence."

The Black Caps are in a much more comfortable position. New Zealand sit top of Group 1 of the Super 12 stage after two wins and one washout and need one more win from their last two games, against England on Tuesday and Ireland on Friday, to clinch a place in the final four.

Kiwi pacer Lockie Ferguson said his team are focusing on the game and continuing the great form shown by the pace department.

"What you always expect from England is that they come out very hot," said Ferguson. "They pride themselves probably on that aggressive nature and bat very deep."

Boult has been superb in the tournament so far, taking six wickets including a career-best 4-13 against Sri Lanka on Saturday. Southee took 3-6 as New Zealand started with bang, routing Australia in the tournament opener.

"Tim and Trent have had a blinder in these first two games," said Ferguson.

"When the ball's swinging, there's not much better in the world. So I think from that point of view, nothing needs to change too much, and we just need to adjust to the conditions on the day. England are going to have a lot of firepower and we need to combat that."

Ferguson said New Zealand know that a win would seal a semi-final place, but they were not looking that far ahead yet.

"Clearly, there's a long way to go for us. We need to make sure we take it game by game," he said.

"It's very much one game at a time. Tomorrow is a big focus for us, after that we'll cross the next bridge when it comes."

Updated: October 31, 2022, 10:30 AM
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