New Zealand will rely on their spinners, whereas England will bank of Joe Root for victory  © Getty Images
New Zealand will rely on their spinners, whereas England will bank on Joe Root for victory © Getty Images

The first semi-final of  ICC T20 World Cup 2016 will witness New Zealand and England clash at Feroz Shah Kotla, Delhi on Wednesday. The fixture can be termed as a contest between two surprise packages, considering both these sides were not expected to qualify for the semi-finals. New Zealand qualified as winners in a tough group, which also consisted of hosts India, Pakistan, Australia and Bangladesh. They managed to win all their four games, en-route to qualifying for the semi-finals.England on the other hand, finished second in their group, which also consisted of West Indies, South Africa, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan. They managed to win three games out of the four games to qualify for semi’s as the runners up. FULL SCORECARD: New Zealand vs England, 1st Semi-Final match

New Zealand’s campaign so far has been magnificent, considering they are in a transition period post Brendon McCullum’s retirement. They started of their campaign under Kane Williamson’s leadership with a huge 47 run win over hosts and favorites, India. The manner in which their spinners bowled garnered praises from around the world. They followed this performance with a close eight-run win over rivals, Australia. The Kiwis confirmed their qualification for the semi’s in the next game, thanks to a swashbuckling 80 by Martin Guptill, guiding them to a 22-run win over Pakistan. And in their final encounter, they made it 4 from 4, blowing apart an hapless Bangladeshi batting line-up, en-route to winning the game by 70 runs.

England, considered the ‘dark horses’ for the tournament, were hit by a ‘Gaylestorm’ in their first game. An unbeaten century by the Jamaican helped West Indies chase down 183 with 11 balls to spare. But the English players bounced back strongly in the next game, chasing down a record 230 against South Africa, thanks to a wonderful 44 ball 83 by Joe Root. Their third encounter saw English batting collapse against Afghanistan, but the bowlers ensured there was no embarrassment, by restricting the opposition to 127 and winning the game by 15 runs. Their final group game saw them survive a Angelo Mathews onslaught, as some good bowling in death ensured a 10-run win over Sri Lanka, and a confirmed spot in the semi-finals.